INDIANAPOLIS – This is the seventh time that the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks have faced off in a playoff series, and in each of the previous matchups the sporting world was treated to tough, defensive-minded basketball that was occasionally difficult to watch. Toss Saturday night’s Game 3 between the Knicks and Pacers into that time capsule, because the two squads managed to test the patience of even the most hardened NBA postseason fans with this clutch and grab session. The Pacers prevailed by an 82-71 score, but not before treating a nationally televised audience to basketball that seemed like it should have been interspaced with Chandler Bing sightings in the advertising bumpers.
The most recent version of the New York Knicks never seemed to fancy itself as a defense-heavy-outfit, not with pointed acquisitions to acquire the likes of Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, and Raymond Felton on their ledger over the last three seasons. Still, the team at least hoped to retain some sort of defensive presence in the postseason due to the participation of 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler in the rotation. Chandler’s ongoing back issues, however, appear to be limiting the presence of the once-dominant defender. And though New York held Indiana to 82 points in the Game 3 loss, that seemed to have more to do with Indiana’s inability to string a hot offensive quarter together, and not New York’s sterling D.
And it certainly wasn’t due to the presence of Chandler. The Knick center seemed dwarfed by Pacer big man Roy Hibbert all evening, and though Tyson’s end-game averages of nine points, three blocks and five fouls in just under 30 minutes were somewhat respectable, he paled in comparison to his Pacer counterpart, as Hibbert tossed in 24 points and 12 rebounds.Read More »from New York fails to stand up to Indiana’s defensive mettle, falls behind 2-1 in their series