Knicks vs. Pacers: Indiana files 78 complaints to league office over officiating in Games 1 and 2, per report

It’s safe to say the Pacers are pretty upset about the officiating in their first two games against the New York Knicks in the NBA playoffs. Following the 130-121 loss Wednesday night to go down 2-0 in the series, the Pacers filed 49 complaints from Game 2 to the league office in what they believe to be incorrect calls from the officials, per ESPN. They also filed another 29 calls from Game 1 for the same reason, making 78 complaints in total. 

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, who was ejected towards the end of Game 2 for complaining to officials, said after the game that the team would file complaints to the league office in order to show what he feels is a disparity in officiating

“After Game 1, We always go through the film in games where it felt like the whistles weren’t balanced and we pull the clips, and there’s a way you can submit them to the NBA office,” Carlisle said. “In the playoffs when you submit things, the other team sees 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, you know, we’d get a more balanced whistle tonight. It didn’t feel that way.”

Carlisle continued to pinpoint a specific play in which Tyrese Haliburton was shoved in the back by Josh Hart while the Pacers were in transition, but there was no foul called. 

“The whole world knows that [Tyrese] Haliburton’s got a bad back,” Carlisle said. “And Hart comes up and shoves him in the back. It’s all over Twitter right now because a few people have showed it to me. JB DeRosa is looking right at it, you can see, he’s got vision of the play and he shoves Tyrese into the corner, and there’s no whistle. Right in the back. That was shocking, and there were many others. I can promise you that we’re gonna submit these tonight. New York can get ready, they’ll see them too.”

The complaints filed to the league office won’t change the outcome of the first two games of this series, but it could impact officiating going forward. However, as irate as Carlisle was about what he believed to be missed calls, his players don’t share the same sentiment.

“At the end of the day we got outplayed,” Haliburton said when asked if the officials were fair in their calls in Game 2. “We were right there to win the game. Would I like more consistency? Yeah. But let’s not pretend that’s the only reason we lost. We just didn’t play good enough.”

TJ McConnell said that while the team respects Carlisle’s passion, that’s not how the rest of the team feels.

“We love Rick showing that type of energy on the court,” McConnell said. “But that’s not the feeling we have in the locker room. We’re not going to sit here and blame officials. We gotta be better, it’s just that simple.”

Regardless of the outcome of the complaints, the Pacers have other issues to address. It was the second-consecutive game that the Knicks dominated Indiana on the boards, and while the Pacers shot the ball better, their defense, specifically out on the perimeter was lacking, allowing New York to shoot 46.7% from deep. The officiating may not change, but things like rebounding and closing out on shooters are certainly things the Pacers can change to try and grab a win in Game 3 on Friday.

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