One day after the Big East Tournament wrapped up at the Garden in New York City, the Indiana Pacers came into town to face Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire with a six-game losing streak on their shoulders. They are heading back home now, without that weight on their backs.
The Pacers defeated the Knicks on Sunday night, 106-93. Tyler Hansbrough led the way for Indiana with 29 points and eight rebounds in 40 minutes of play. Darren Collison finished with 16 points and eight assists, as four players scored in double-figures for the Pacers.
Danny Granger missed the game with the flu, and Paul George started in his place, while Dahntay Jones filled the starting SG position. Jones had 18 points in his first start of the season for Indiana.
Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony each had fantastic games, with 25 points for Carmelo and 28 for Amar'e. Unfortunately for them, there wasn't much help from the rest of the team. Shawne Williams did have 13 points, but the team as a whole shot just 36 percent from the floor, compared to 57 percent for the Pacers.
Despite pulling down just 33 rebounds compared to the Knicks' 44, the Pacers were able to make shots tonight. They were 5-for-12 from beyond the arc, while New York was just 7-for-30 as a team.
Oddly enough, the Pacers were able to win with their "best player", Danny Granger, out with the flu. Could this be a sign to the organization? In most of its losses this year, one of the biggest problems was the fact that Danny was shooting (and missing) way too much.
Granted, the Pacers don't have anyone else that really has a "green light" to shoot, but some of his shot selections make me question if he is more of a problem than a solution for this team.
Tonight the team shot very well from all over the floor. It was hitting shots and getting the ball inside. Hansbrough was 12-of-20 from the floor. All of his shots were good looks, and even Hibbert was getting the ball inside and doing things.
This team looks completely different when Granger is not in the game, and the ball seems to move much more effectively. I'm not saying that the team needs to get rid of him, but he needs to wake up and stop launching shots every other time down the floor.
They had two games with the Knicks, as well as games against the Celtics, Bulls, Grizzlies and Nets coming up. The Selection Show started at the same time as the game tonight, so when I saw the score at halftime I was very surprised.
Unfortunately for Indiana, the Bobcats were able to get a close win earlier in the day against the Raptors, so they remain tied for the final playoff spot in the East. It will be interesting to see if/how tonight's game will change the mindset of this team, especially on offense.
The two teams will play again on Tuesday at Conseco Fieldhouse. The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m.