George Hill, the Pacers’ starting point guard, gave a simple message to his backup D.J. Augustin.

Shoot.

“I’ve been telling him even when he only has 10 minutes in the game to try to get 10 shots, because he’s that good of a shooter,” Hill said after the Pacers’ 102-95 Game 1 victory over the Knicks. “Anytime you leave him open he’s a threat.”

Don’t the Knicks know that now. Augustin was the most efficient bench player on the floor yesterday, taking six shots, hitting five — including 4-of-5 3-point attempts – and scoring 16 points in 13 minutes.

“I just wanted to come in and play hard. That’s all we’re all trying to do now,’’ said Augustin, who allows Hill, when they’re together, to slide to the two guard, a spot he played in San Antonio. “It could be our last [round] if we don’t come out and play hard.”

So Augustin impressed so much that center Roy Hibbert claimed, “He was the X-factor tonight. He’s what we’ve been missing.”