Rick Carlisle rips referees, argues Pacers ‘deserve a fair shot’ in playoff series against Knicks

Rick Carlisle rips referees, argues Pacers ‘deserve a fair shot’ in playoff series against Knicks

New York Knicks fans are hoping the franchise’s 50-year NBA championship drought will finally come to an end this season. The team took another step in the right direction on Wednesday night by defeating the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals.

New York’s playoff run has not been without controversy. In the Knicks’ earlier playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, a non-foul call sparked backlash and resulted in a pivotal game-saving possession. The NBA later admitted that officials should’ve called fouls on New York’s Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson before a Donte DiVincenzo game-winning shot in Game 2 of the first round series.

The Knicks were on the wrong side of a non-call in Game 5 when Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey appeared to get away with a travel violation moments before he made crucial 3-pointer.


But coach Rick Carlisle argued that the Pacers have gotten a fair shake in the ongoing semifinals series against the Knicks. 


There were multiple controversial calls in the series opener. New York benefitted from a kicked ball violation, which is not a reviewable play.

Later in the final seconds of the game, Indiana trailed by one, but referees blew the whistle on Pacers big Myles Turner for an illegal screen. 

An illegal screen is typically reserved for early portions of an NBA game, so the fact that the call was made late in a playoff game raised some eyebrows. The Knicks went on to win by four points.

Rick Carlisle’s frustrations boiled over in Game 2, as the Pacers’ head coach received a pair of technical fouls and was eventually ejected.

Carlisle said that Indiana had determined that there had been at least 29 calls they viewed as questionable and had gone unfairly against the Pacers, but Carlisle said that the team had decided against sending the plays to the NBA for review.

“I decided not to submit them, because I just felt like we’d get a more balanced whistle tonight. It didn’t feel that way,” Carlisle said. “I’m always talking to our guys about not making it about the officials, but we deserve a fair shot.”

Carlisle added that his team should not be marginalized because they play in smaller market.

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

The Knicks have a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals series. The series shifts to Indiana for Game 3, which is scheduled for May 10.

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