Knicks vs. Pacers Game 3, NBA Playoffs 2013: Hill, Hibbert push Pacers to halftime lead

Andy Lyons

HIll and Hibbert combined for 18 first half points and the Pacers' defense clamped down on the Knicks to take a 36-33 lead.

The Indiana Pacers' defense bounced back in the first half after suffering one of its worst quarters of the season at the end of a Game 2 loss, and Indiana leads the New York Knicks 36-33 at halftime. The Pacers jumped out to a 7-0 lead and held the Knicks to just 15 points in the first quarter on 33 percent shooting.

The first quarter came and went without an Amar'e Stoudemire sighting, but he started the second quarter for the Knicks alongside Kenyon Martin and without Carmelo Anthony. Before the game, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said Stoudemire would be on a strict 10-12 minute restriction for the game. Ethan Rothstein highlighted three questions before the tip that would help determine the outcome of Game 3. Here's where we stand so far.

Which team can translate on-paper strengths to on-court success?

Right now it's the Pacers' size and defense. They held the Knicks to 37 percent shooting and more importantly have forced Woodson to play with two bigs and Carmelo Anthony for much of the game, which has limited the Knicks' ability to stretch the floor. So far they've attempted just five three-pointers and are still being outrebounded by the Pacers, 31-20.

Can J.R. Smith and Amar'e Stoudemire contribute?

Not really. Stoudemire started the second quarter and got a quick dunk, but didn't do much else. Smith, who almost missed the game due to a fever, didn't do much more, missing his first three shots before finally getting on the board with a couple of baskets late in the second quarter. Both players' minutes were limited as Woodson tried to look for different ways to get the Knicks' offense going.

Will anyone besides Paul George step up on offense?

Fact: Paul George is the Pacers' third-leading scorer at halftime. George Hill got the Pacers offense going in the first quarter and Roy Hibbert took control in the second. David West was active throughout both. His work setting screens and working out of the high post got Hill loose for all of his nine points in the first quarter. Hibbert was incredibly aggressive calling for the ball in the second quarter, backing down both Martin and Tyson Chandler at will.

More from SB Nation:

Kevin Durant vs. the world

Damian Lillard was more than ready for NBA

Why Len is a better prospect than Noel

Joakim Noah: Flicked off, flirting with death

Rose might be scared, and that's OK

Living and working with anxiety disorder

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.