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Pacers are filing a complaint with the NBA over 78 calls, source says
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Pacers are filing a complaint with the NBA over 78 calls, source says

The Indiana Pacers have filed 78 plays with the NBA that they believe were improperly called against them during Games 1 and 2 against the New York Knicks, a league source told ESPN.

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said after Indiana fell behind 2-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 130-121 loss to New York on Wednesday that the team had identified 29 questionable calls from Game 1. The source said the Pacers had identified 49 such calls. plays from Game 2 and those submitted overnight to the NBA office.

Carlisle said they decided not to send the Game 1 calls to the league office for review, but reversed that decision after Game 2 had similar issues from their perspective.

As part of NBA protocol, the clips are also shared with the Knicks.

“I can promise you we’re going to submit this tonight,” Carlisle said after being sent off in the final minute when he picked up two technical fouls. “New York can get ready. They will see them too. I always talk to our guys about not talking about the officials, but we deserve a fair chance.”

A frustrated Carlisle also suggested the Pacers were being punished by officials for playing the league’s largest market.

“Small-market teams deserve an equal opportunity,” Carlisle said. “They deserve a fair chance wherever they play.”

Carlisle was ejected after becoming angry over several calls in Game 2, especially when the officials correctly overturned a double dribble violation that could have given the Pacers a key possession while the outcome was still in doubt.

In Game 1, a kicked ball violation was incorrectly called against the Pacers but was not corrected, a decision that ultimately cost the team three crucial points in the 121–117 loss.

The Madison Square Garden crowd, which was thrilled when star Jalen Brunson returned in the second half after missing the entire second quarter due to a right foot problem, made the environment hostile to the Pacers, and Carlisle said he believed that had an impact on the referee. prefer the Knicks.

The Pacers will also have to take a closer look at their defensive film. After allowing the Knicks to shoot 65% in the second half of Game 1 as they lost a lead, New York shot 67% in the third quarter of Game 2 and turned the game around, outscoring Indiana 36-18 behind the return of Brunson.

Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton, who scored 34 points while rebounding from six down in Game 1, wasn’t about to put all the blame on the referee.

“Let’s not pretend (officiating) is the only reason we lost. We just didn’t play well enough,” Haliburton said. “We just have to be better.”

Another issue the Pacers will need to discuss as the series moves to Indianapolis for Game 3 on Friday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN) is how to guard Brunson. Backup guard TJ McConnell was somewhat effective in slowing Brunson in Games 1 and 2, but Carlisle picked him off with seven minutes to play and the Knicks were up by two points and replaced him with starter Andrew Nembhard.

Brunson scored 10 of his 29 points with Nembhard as his primary defender and is 14 of 21 scoring 33 points against Nembhard through the first two games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Carlisle said he considered bringing back McConnell, who had a +10 plus/minus that night, but decided against it because the team hasn’t played like that all season.

McConnell supported his coach’s decision.

“Rick is a Hall of Fame coach and has been doing this for a long time, so the rotations he plays, we trust that they are the right ones and I fully support him,” McConnell said. “If my number is called, I’ll be ready.”