Knicks 105, Pacer 79
Last night’s Game 2 between NY and Indiana saw the Knicks playing a full 48 while Indiana went into another offensive slump. Their latest brick fest, however, may have been their worst yet. Mike Woodson’s troop went on a mean run from the third to fourth quarter while the Pacers didn’t hit a field goal for over an hour.
What’s even worse was their looks weren’t even that bad. Many of their shots during the dismal run weren’t high percentage attempts. Yet they might as well have had five Scott Burrell’s out there and got the same results.
Indiana’s shooting woes crossed paths with their poor effort on D, Carmelo getting out of his slump and the Knicks just having fun in the second half. The Knickerbockers cruised to a 105-79 victory. You’d think the 18th anniversary of Reggie’s game-winning eight point barrage would’ve inspired Indiana. Maybe they were intimidated by greatness? Either way the lopsided win made for a boring game of ball.
Anyway, it’s clear Frank Vogel has his work cut out for him for Game 3. How can his staff fix their chronic scoring struggles by Saturday? Also, on Mike Woodson’s side, when does J.R. Smith get back to scoring at a consistent clip? A big win masked another terrible offensive effort and, with two games in Indiana, he can’t afford to leave his team hanging much longer.
Grizzlies 99, Thunder 93
There you have it folks. Contrary to popular belief, the Thunder are not better without Russell Westbrook. In fact, they missed him quite dearly last night. Without him on the court, who was going to be doubled when it matters most?
Thanks to the absence of half of OKC’s two-headed monster, the Grizzlies clamped down on Kevin Durant, forcing him to miss his last three desperation shots, with the game on the line. No way that would’ve been remotely possible if Russ was standing on the opposite side of the court.
On the flip side, Mike Conley played the assassin’s role for Memphis, icing the game and snatching home court advantage away from Oklahoma City. Marc Gasol also had a strong game with 24 points and some key physical stops in the paint. Speaking strictly as a very optimistic Warriors fan, I don’t want to see the Grizzlies next round. For that matter, I don’t really want to see OKC either, but playing Memphis would be one acid bath of a matchup for the “big men” in Oakland.