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Knicks’ Josh Hart slams ‘disrespectful’ Pacers coach Rick Carlisle
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Knicks’ Josh Hart slams ‘disrespectful’ Pacers coach Rick Carlisle

INDIANAPOLIS – Just before Rick Carlisle was fined by the NBA for “questioning the integrity of the league,” Josh Hart said the Pacers coach was “disrespectful” of the Knicks and their Game 2 win.

‘Rick says what he feels. It has nothing to do with us. But at the end of the day, I think it’s pretty disrespectful to us,” Hart said during the Knicks’ shootaround on Friday. “Because at the end of the day, we compete and play at a high level. It is not about official actions. It’s not about something like that. “For him to discredit the way we play is quite disrespectful to me.”

Carlisle’s rant after Wednesday’s Game 2 focused on the discrepancy in the calls and suggested the officials were rigging the Knicks’ 130-121 win for the big-market team. The coach also cited Hart for “pushing” Tyrese Haliburton from behind when “the whole world knows Haliburton has a bad back.”

The Hart-Haliburton game took place in the third quarter and although there was obvious contact from behind, Haliburton never lost possession. Haliburton is suffering from back spasms.

Rick Carlisle took the back cover for early editions. New York Post
Tyrese Haliburton and his Pacers made 12 fewer free throws than the Knicks during Games 1 and 2 of the East Semifinals. AP

Asked about Carlisle’s comment, Hart rolled his eyes and backtracked on the idea that his push on the Pacers point guard was dirty.

‘If you look, I hit the ball. Maybe I bumped him a little? Yeah, I’m running full speed,” Hart said. “He’s running at full speed and standing in front of me. I’m trying to play ball.”

Carlisle, who was ejected late in Game 2 and had submitted 78 missed calls from the series to the league for review, predictably drew the ire of the NBA by stating in his post-game tirade that “small market (teams) deserve a fair chance. ” The league announced Friday that Carlisle was fined $35,000 for “publicly criticizing management and questioning the integrity of the league and its officials.”

Josh Hart responded to Rick Carlisle’s claims about Game 2 of the Knicks-Pacers series. Getty Images

Hart, who played in two of the largest markets (LA and New York) and two of the smallest (Portland and New Orleans), called Carlisle’s suggestion “idiotic.”

“That’s so stupid, buddy,” Hart said. “I mean, we’re going to say the big market always wins? The Knicks haven’t won a championship in 51 years. So that clearly doesn’t carry that much weight. I don’t quite understand that. Sorry, New York, for the reminder (about the 51-year drought). But I just think that’s idiotic. In the end it is the one who plays the best. I’ve never seen a referee shoot a free throw, make a three or miss a rotation.”

After submitting 78 calls for review to the league office, Rick Carlisle was fined $35,000 by the NBA for criticizing the referees after Game 2. Getty Images

In the first two games, the Pacers committed 36 foul shots, compared to the Knicks’ 48. Indiana was also whistled for more fouls, 48 ​​to 36.

However, these numbers are also a continuation of the regular season trend. The Pacers committed more fouls (21.4 per game) and surrendered more free throw attempts (25.98) than any team in the NBA.

The Knicks, meanwhile, committed just 17.65 fouls per game and 19.76 foul shots. Part of that is about pace – Indiana plays much faster, and more possession usually means more mistakes. But the Knicks organization was also upset with the way Jalen Brunson was assigned in the first two games, according to sources, because they believed he wasn’t getting enough calls.


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The Knicks are unhappy with the way Jalen Brunson has officiated the first two games against the Pacers. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“It’s not about who complains the most — small market, big market, whatever,” Hart said. “It’s about going out there, playing the game and competing at a high level. Especially in the last game, I don’t think you’ve seen anyone on the field complaining or yelling at the referees as much as I did. You know what I mean? But at the end of the day, they are people. They’re going to make good calls, they’re going to make bad calls. … (T)hat does not influence how we as players should approach the game, how we as players should play the game and it should not take away from what we or the other team does.”