May 21, 2024

How the Pacers lost control in a ‘very embarrassing’ Game 5 loss to the Knicks

NEW YORK — After a 32-point blowout win in Game 4 in Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon, Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle didn’t doubt what was ready for his group in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday evening and the effort the Pacers would want to be the first street group to win a sport in this collection.

“Right now, it’s pretty simple,” Carlisle stated earlier than Game 5. “If you don’t hit somebody and go get the ball, you’re going to lose.”

That is strictly what occurred to the Pacers on Tuesday evening in the Knicks’ 121-91 Game 5 win.

By halftime, the Knicks had grabbed extra offensive rebounds (12) than the Pacers had whole rebounds (11). Add in 9 first-half Pacers turnovers and the Knicks had taken 15 extra photographs than the Pacers did in the first 24 minutes. By the finish of the sport, the Knicks had tried 29 extra discipline targets than the Pacers.

“Very poor effort, obviously,” Carlisle stated after the loss. “Lost every quarter. Got annihilated on loose balls and rebounds. Gave up 20 offensive rebounds and 29 more shots. So, we all own it, but very embarrassing. Very embarrassing and a hard lesson.”

While Knicks guard Jalen Brunson was undeniably efficient with 44 factors and 7 assists in 43 minutes, the Pacers didn’t match the Knicks’ general urgency, tenacity, physicality and desperation. Now the Pacers are one loss away from the finish of their season.

“Well, there’s no excuses,” Carlisle stated. “But all the guys on our roster, I imagine it’s the first time they’ve been in a Game 5, tied at 2-2, occurring the street. And so that you study a lot in these conditions, in a short time.

“So, for us, give up 38 in the first quarter and lose by nine in the second and lose by six in the third and then get wiped out in the fourth, this is a different circumstance. And as a playoff series progresses, it’s going to get harder and harder.”

Things didn’t go poorly for the Pacers from the soar although. After 5 minutes, the Pacers led by seven factors. From there, nevertheless, they lost control and it doesn’t matter what Carlisle did, he couldn’t get his group to settle into the sport and preserve control of the proceedings. In reality, with simply 2:11 left in the first half, Carlisle had solely two timeouts left for the sport. He had taken 5 first-half timeouts to attempt to decelerate the sport and assist the Pacers discover their footing. It didn’t work.

Carlisle’s first timeout got here after Obi Toppin, a participant who had taken simply 10 p.c of his photographs from the mid-range throughout the common season, drove off a dribble handoff, settled for a fadeaway pull-up jumper after which failed to execute as a transition defender.

Just six whole possessions later, Carlisle tried one other timeout after Pacers middle Myles Turner dedicated a turnover on a post-up and Knicks guard Miles McBride, who was substituted into the Game 5 beginning lineup for (*5*), received out on the run and located a simple two in transition.

That timeout was the ultimate second earlier than the dam broke open and the Pacers lost control. The Pacers’ 25-24 benefit could be their final lead of the evening as issues rapidly unraveled. The Knicks would take the lead and by no means relinquish it for the the rest of the sport.

Once the Knicks had been forward, the Pacers performed more and more sloppy basketball to shut out the first quarter.

Haliburton, who usually takes nice care of the basketball, carelessly tossed a ball out of bounds on the lookout for T.J. McConnell.

“I felt it was a little frenzied today,” Haliburton stated. “Obviously, the Garden is a great environment and they have a great fanbase, but we just gotta do a better job coming together as a group. I feel like we kind of split there in the first quarter and then never really responded the right way. So, we gotta do a better job coming together as a group and that starts with me as the leader.”

After Haliburton’s move to McConnell went out of bounds, Josh Hart hit a 3-pointer for the Knicks. Rather than gradual the Pacers for the subsequent possession, Haliburton pushed the tempo. He raced up the sideline, received into the paint after which kicked it out to McConnell in the proper nook. McConnell swung the ball to rookie Ben Sheppard, who has put collectively a robust postseason, however Sheppard dedicated a turnover on a move after he was run off the 3-point line by the Knicks.

And like Haliburton, the Knicks pushed the tempo, however even in the center of a quick break, Brunson slowed them down and helped his teammates discover the finest shot.

For the second time in this collection, Haliburton struggled to make an offensive influence at Madison Square Garden. While it wasn’t fairly as drastic as taking solely six photographs in Game 1, Haliburton put up simply 13 factors on 5-of-9 capturing and 5 assists in Game 5. He by no means appeared to put his imprint on the sport offensively, which was particularly disastrous for a Pacers group missing composure in their greatest sport of the season.

While Carlisle and Haliburton had been undoubtedly correct in their assessments of the Pacers’ ranges of competitiveness and composure Tuesday, the Knicks additionally had the tactical benefit. The Knicks’ choice to insert McBride into the beginning lineup modified the whole lot.

In their Game 4 blowout of the Knicks, the Pacers outcompeted the Knicks however the Pacers had the tactical benefit in Game 4 as nicely. With Achiuwa in the beginning lineup, the Pacers cheated off of him and loaded up their assist protection to decelerate Brunson.

With McBride on the flooring in Game 5, the Knicks might higher house the flooring and the Pacers couldn’t construct their assist protection in opposition to Brunson in the identical manner. On prime of that, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau turned McBride into a screener for Brunson, understanding that the Pacers had been hiding Haliburton on the 23-year-old reserve guard.

As Haliburton admitted after the sport, he was not up to the activity.

My shows were terrible in the first half,” Haliburton stated. “Just didn’t do a good job of getting the ball out of Brunson’s hand. I received break up on a couple, didn’t influence the ball, and he simply received round me a few occasions.

“I thought it was better in the second half, but it’s something that obviously worked for them. They’re going to continue to go it in Game 6. So, like I said, I’ll watch the film, see where I can get better and improve on that going into next game.”

As the Pacers head house for Game 6, not solely will they want to discover the competitiveness and physicality that outlined their victorious performances in Games 3 and 4, however they may even want to discover a a lot greater stage of execution on each ends of the flooring. If the Pacers need to maintain their season alive, Haliburton will want to exert larger control over the Pacers’ offensive efforts and compete at a greater stage on the defensive finish.

It all begins with their All-Star level guard.

(Top photograph: Sarah Stier / Getty Images)