NBA: Pacers’ Carlisle says ‘small-market teams deserve fair shot’

Indiana Pacers Rick Carlisle NBA Pacers vs Knicks

Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle, right, argues with a referee during the second half of Game 2 of the team’s NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the New York Knicks, Wednesday, May 8, 2024, in New York. The Knicks won 130-121. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK — Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said Wednesday that “small-market teams deserve an equal shot” during a complaint about the officiating in his team’s loss to the New York Knicks.

Carlisle was called for two technical fouls and ejected late as his Pacers fell 130-121, putting them in a 2-0 hole in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals.

He said the Pacers found 29 calls they felt were incorrect in their Game 1 loss, but he didn’t submit them to the NBA. He vowed he would be sending them this time.

“I’m always talking to our guys about not making it about the officials and, but, we deserve a fair shot,” Carlisle said.

READ: NBA: Jalen Brunson scores 43, rallies Knicks past Pacers in Game 1

“There’s not a consistent balance. It’s disappointing.”

Officials acknowledged an incorrectly called kicked ball violation late in Game 1, but the Pacers believed there were plenty other instances of wrong whistles.

“In the playoffs, when you submit things, the other team can see what you submit. And so, there were 29 plays in Game 1 that we thought were clearly called the wrong way. I decided not to submit them because I just felt like we’d get a more balanced whistle tonight,” Carlisle said. “It didn’t feel that way.”

He cited a play in the third quarter where he felt the Knicks’ Josh Hart shoved All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton — who has been battling back spasms — in the back.

READ: Knicks face Pacers, an old-school playoff rival wtih new-age game

“It’s all over Twitter right now because a few people have showed it to me and JB DeRosa is looking right at it,” Carlisle said. “You can see he has vision of the play and he shoves Tyrese into the corner and there is no whistle. Right in the back. That was shocking and there were many others. But I can promise you that we are going to submit these tonight. New York can get ready. They can see them, too.”

Haliburton said the Pacers needed to blame themselves, not the officials.

“At the end of the day we got outplayed. We were right there in the game,” Haliburton said. “But I like consistency, yeah. But let’s not pretend, like, that’s the only reason we lost. We just didn’t play good enough. But at the end of the day it’s 2-0.”

But Carlisle, who felt Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau’s yelling at the officials got a late double dribble violation against center Isaiah Hartenstein changed to an inadvertent whistle that allowed New York to keep the ball, wants things to change when the series moves to Indiana for Game 3 on Friday.

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“Small-market teams deserve an equal shot,” he said. “They deserve a fair shot no matter where they are playing.”