The New York Knicks, once thought of as the top threat in the East to defeat the mighty Miami Heat, are out of the playoffs. And they have one of their own to blame, following Saturday’s 106-99 Indiana Pacers win and series conquest in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Lance Stephenson grew up in Brooklyn hating the Indiana Pacers. After a rough start to NBA career, though, he grew into loving working for his adopted hometown and Pacer team, and he was likely more than cognizant of the criticism that arose from his time spent as Indiana’s top backcourt penetrator during the team’s Game 5 loss against the New York Knicks on Thursday. With George Hill out, the Pacers needed someone to step up on the perimeter, and Stephenson (13 points on 13 shots) could not step up. Game 6, however, was about as “up” as steps come.
Even with George Hill in the Pacer starting lineup, Stephenson put up a career-high 25 points in the contest, topping his previous playoff-high in points by halftime by dropping 16 on the Knicks. Working between New York’s smallish lineup, the former University of Cincinnati guard also weaved his way toward 10 rebounds in just 34 minutes, his fourth double-digit rebounding game of the postseason. And though the Knicks reverted to their old, winning ways – a small rotation, plenty of three-point attempts – the team just could not keep in front of the younger Indiana Pacers.Read More »from Indiana pulls together at home, downs the Knicks to move onto the Eastern Conference finals