Minus KP and THJ, the Knicks struggled from the tip and lost in blowout fashion to the Pacers.
After a rough loss to Orlando just yesterday, the Knicks took on the Pacers Monday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. This was New York’s second straight game with their top two scorers out due to injury, Kristaps Porzingis (ankle sprain) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (stress injury in left shin), and they suffered dearly without them. The Knicks just couldn’t put the ball in the basket, and let Indiana run through them on defense.
In what was a forgettable game, the Knicks shot 44 percent from the field while racking up 17 turnovers. It was a dominating performance for the Pacers, who picked up their 13th win of the season.
Let’s take a look at a few notes from Monday’s blowout in Indianapolis:
- Coach Jeff Hornacek picked out the same set of starters against the Pacers as he did against the Magic, rolling out Jarrett Jack, Damyean Dotson, Courtney Lee, Michael Beasley, and Enes Kanter. Hornacek likely picked players from the bottom of the rotation to take the starting roles so as to not mess up the rotations too much and keep the bench unit from getting out of whack. The coaching staff clearly wasn’t pleased with what they saw from their starters early in the game though, as they rode the bench for the most part in the fourth quarter, and gave players like Frank Ntilikina and Willy Hernangómez some extra playing time.
- In what was his second start of the season, Damyean Dotson had a relatively quiet night. He finished with 9 points on 3-of-8 shooting, and just seemed unable to get in the flow of the offense. Dotson rarely got any open looks, and when he did, he was not able to convert. While a starting spot obviously isn’t the best role for him, the coaching staff should continue to give him consistent minutes until he can get comfortable on the court and maximize his scoring and defensive abilities.
- The most obvious glare in the Knicks’ game Monday night was their lack of scoring, which was to be expected without KP and Timmy on the floor. If either of these guys are out for an extended amount of time, it could be doom for New York’s season, and it’s sadly looking more and more like a possibility. While Kristaps should be back relatively soon, as he was suffering from an ankle sprain while recovering from an illness, Hardaway’s more serious stress injury could mean he misses a good chunk of time:
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) December 4, 2017
- While he’s struggled recently, Michael Beasley had a bit of a comeback game against Indiana. The Walking Bucket dropped in 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting and pitched in three boards. While he certainly couldn’t fill the scoring load of KP at power forward, he was able to provide some consistent scoring when the Knicks looked to him down low. Hopefully Beas is able to keep up these type of performances once he’s relegated back to the bench, as consistent points from him would give the New York bench unit a boost.
- While we didn’t get much out of this game, at least we got a Willy sighting. In one of his best games all season, Willy Hernangómez put up 14 and 10 in 17 minutes of play. Willy looked like his old self again, working in the post and fighting for boards. Consistent minutes will still be hard to come by, but the only way he’ll work up his confidence is if he’s thrown out there for some minutes.
The Knicks (11-12) next play the the struggling Memphis Grizzlies (7-15) on Wednesday back at MSG. They’ll have to throw this one out and move on to get back on track and keep the season rolling after a few rough losses in the recent road trip.