When was the last time you saw a player dominate a playoff game with a 14-point, eight-rebound night? It doesn’t happen often. But Roy Hibbert dictated everything in Indiana’s seven-point Game 1 win in New York, controlling the paint without fouling while limiting the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony (10-for-28 shooting) to 43 percent from the floor. The big fella had five blocks — he’s basically mastered the art of going straight up and down — and was key during the middle quarters when Indiana outscored the hosts 59-38. The Notorious J.V.G. gushed about Hibbert so often you could’ve created a drinking game around it.
For New York, three important scenarios carried over from the Boston series. First, they struggled to finish at the hoop, as Anthony has surprisingly been awful there during this entire playoff run. Two, Raymond Felton continued to ball out, finishing with 18 points on 12 shots. And three, J.R. Smith still couldn’t find his game. He scored 17, but shot 4-for-15 and was nonexistent when New York needed him most. However, he did bring his flopping “A” game, whipping out two of the best we’ve seen all year on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter.
The first, and the more egregious of the two, came when he drew an illegal screen foul on David West. After seeing how well his technique worked, he tried it again on the following possession against George Hill in the backcourt. While that one forced a whistle on Smith, it was still right up there with Pablo Prigioni for some of the best flopping work in New York’s season.
We’re out like Carlesimo.
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