JR Smith has forgotten how to shoot, Tyson Chandler looks exhausted, Steve Novak is MIA, and Mike Woodson has permanent shell-shock face—and the Knicks face elimination in a stressful Game 5 tonight against the Indiana Pacers. Can they adjust their offense, find their 3 pointer, and push the series back to Indiana? Or will the Pacers book a date with the Heat tonight before a very unhappy Garden crowd? Either way, Reggie Miller is our announcer tonight on TNT, and we'll keep updating this post with every swish and dish.
9:51 in 1st Quarter: Carmelo came out hot with 5 points and 2 rebounds—he's so hot, he already has a technical foul. It's early, but their offense seems to be clicking more now than it has in the last two games. 7-2 Knicks.
4:41 in 1 st Quarter: Some good signs so far: they aren't double-teaming Roy Hibbert anymore (and he has two fouls). Iman Shumpert has started hot, and Pablo Prigioni started the game. 14-11 Knicks.
2:47 in 1st Quarter: JR hits a three! He doesn't look hungover! Also, Rasheed Wallace spotted: "And of course Sheed can seen shouting "Ball don't lie!"
1:45 in 1st Quarter: Aaaaaaand Jason Kidd can't hit a layup. Good thing he's "not out there to score"—even when he's in front of the basket—according to Reggie Miller.
End of 1st Quarter: The quarter ends with a sweet Melo three pointer and a Knicks lead. Jonathan Fishner gives us his assessment of the first quarter: "Melo looks great, JR making his first shot is huge and Hibbert foul trouble, finally! And I can't believe Kidd had that layup rim out. The Pacers really miss George Hill." An interesting stat: Melo/Martin/Stat together, +/- 0 in about 2 min. 19-15 Knicks.
9:55 in 2nd Quarter: Stat looks like a mess after two terrible possessions, but Chris Copeland looks great. 23-19 Knicks.
7:20 in 2nd Quarter: Wally Szczerbiak believes in Prigioni. We believe. HUGE three-pointer from Copeland. 32-23 Knicks.
4:03 in 2nd Quarter: Beautiful block by JR Smith. Knicks have been hustling all game. Pacers are beating Knicks on points off turnovers though. Knicks starting to make poor shot selection. 32-29 Knicks.
Half Time: Fishner says: "Ugly offensive half but the Knicks will take it. Why did Tyson Chandler just do that?!?" But great move on JR's part, forcing up a shot and drawing a shooting foul on a wild three pointer to end the half. Too bad Reggie Miller has to be a party pooper.
The Knicks are winning 40-34 at halftime. We'd wager that this whole game will be decided in the 3rd quarter...unless the whole game is decided in the 4th quarter. Could there be a 5th quarter? If so, the game will definitely be decided then. Unless there's a 6th quarter. Definitely, the 7th quarter, at most.
6:31 in 3rd Quarter: The officiating is officially terrible so far in this game. Copeland knocks down a long three upon entering. COPELAND. ...And then he picks up an offensive foul. Rasheed Wallace is his mentor now. This seems important. 53-44 Knicks.
4:22 in 3rd Quarter: After a messy drive, another big play by Copeland (making up for his missed three). With every mistake, he does something very right. Fishner: "With Hibbert off the court everything is easier. Look at that! Three chances for the Knicks and they push it to 11." 59-48 Knicks, largest lead of the game.
End of 3rd Quarter: If you're wondering why they're down by 10, the Pacers are 13/24 from the line. 67-57 Knicks.
10:00 in 4th Quarter: Fishner: "Other than Shump who went a little nuts in the first half and is 2-10, all the Knicks are shooting pretty well and they're at 42% as a team and are 6-15 from three. They're basically even with the Pacers on the boards (33-32). The difference is the FT shooting for the Pacers and Hibber's absence. Let's see if the Knicks can hang on." 72-65 Knicks.
5:45 in 4th Quarter: Paul George is playing very well; it seems their strategy is to scare the Knicks into losing this game. Thankfully, Melo has been heating up. 77-71 Knicks.
2:22 in 4th Quarter: Even Reggie Miller is starting to sound impressed with the Knicks after that swarming defense. Melo is having his way with George, who is trying to avoid a 6th foul. 83-73 Knicks.
1:00 in 4th Quarter: Pacers have 18 turnovers. Knicks holding things at 83-75 right now.
Game Over: The Knicks hold on to win—85-75—thanks in no small part to the Pacers atrocious free throw shooting and copious turnovers. Game 6 will take place on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Indiana. Hopefully the Knicks can steal that one and bring the series back to the Garden.