Because the NBA didn't announce that he was suspended until roughly 40 hours or so after CARMELO-KG-HONEYNUT-BUS-FIGHT-GATE had ended, Carmelo Anthony traveled with the Knicks to Indianapolis for their game with the Pacers, even though he wasn't allowed to play. (Had he known he was suspended in time, he would have just stayed in the city and prepped for tonight's game against the Bulls.) So while the game was going on last night, Carmelo was actually sitting in his hotel room in Indianapolis, watching the game on TV. David Stern might not have intended it this way, but it turned out: Watching how his team plays without him is probably the worst possible punishment Anthony could have suffered.
The Knicks lost to the Pacers 81–76 last night, in about as hideously ugly a basketball game as you can imagine. (Of all the nights to be on national television. Another reason Carmelo must have been miserable: Reggie Miller was calling the game. At least people here got to watch MSG.) The Knicks shot 34.8 percent from the field and 20 percent (4-of-20) from three-point range, and their 76 points was the least they'd scored since those two train wrecks of playoff games against Miami, Games 1 and 3. It was the least points they'd scored in a regular-season game since January 10, 2009, a 96–76 loss against the Rockets. (The Knicks' leading scorer in that game was Tim Thomas.)
The Pacers have an excellent defensive team, but the Knicks just couldn't do anything, going almost seven minutes without a point in the fourth quarter, a terrible time to go seven minutes without a point. JR Smith led the Knicks with 29 points, but they were an ugly, inefficient 29 points, on 29 shots. It was rough out there.
What's rougher is that half the team is hurt now, too. Marcus Camby reaggravated his plantar fasciitis business, and it's very possible he'll be out for a week or longer. Tyson Chandler has a sore neck, and Smith was limping after the game too. Basically, the Knicks just all got whacked with canes last night, and we all got to watch. They are now 5-7 in their last twelve games, and tonight they get to play the Bulls, a team that has dominated the Knicks so far this season (and has gotten in their heads). Carmelo will be back tonight. Suffice it to say, the Knicks need him. And this time, he doesn't have to watch them.