At this point in the 2013 NBA Playoffs, it is win-or-go-home for many teams. Tonight, that was the case for the New York Knicks as they took on the Indiana Pacers at home, down in the series three games to one. So far, there were many story lines as to why the Knicks have been unsuccessful against Indiana. Whether it was the (lack of) play of J.R. Smith, the dominance inside from Roy Hibbert, or even something as small, yet disturbing, as veteran Jason Kidd having been held scoreless up until this point. There were definitely things in place for the Knicks to fix in order to extend the series.
Tonight, Smith played a bit better, but not spectacularly like New York was used to in the regular season when they needed him most. Kidd also failed to score again and remains without a field goal in the series. Hibbert didn’t dominate offensively like he had in past games, which was a good sign for New York’s post play.
With all of that said, tonight’s win was about Carmelo Anthony. Right off the bat in the first quarter, Anthony drilled his first jumper and proceeded to knock down a three pointer on the very next possession which got the bench rocking less than a minute into the game.
Anthony didn’t finish with an amazing shooting percentage. By all means, it was enough though. He finished with 28 points on 12-28 shooting. Anthony showed poise from every area on the floor with the ball in his hands. It is clear his teammates go as he goes, and tonight they seemed to feed off of his energy and scoring. His leadership was evident tonight.
The Knicks remain very much alive in the playoffs and are going to need a win on the road in game 6 to bring the series back home for a win-or-go-home game 7 at Madison Square Garden. Not to look too far ahead, but Anthony has played well enough to carry this team all season long, why not against a team like the Miami Heat in the conference finals? It would be a conference finals for the ages as LeBron James and Anthony square off 10 years after being the stars of the 2003 NBA Draft. First things first, however, Anthony needs his Knicks to take care of business on the road in game 6 before looking too far ahead.