Pacers whined about 78 Knicks calls to NBA — one ‘shocked’ them

The Pacers submitted 78 plays from their two playoff losses to the Knicks that they insist they got shafted on by the referees — but there’s one play in particular that had Indiana coach Rick Carlisle fuming Wednesday night.

With a little more than five minutes left in the third quarter of the Knicks’ 130-121 Game 2 win at the Garden, Josh Hart shoved Tyrese Haliburton in the back as the Pacers guard was racing up the floor with the ball, but no foul was called on the play.

Before Game 2, Carlisle said Haliburton had a back issue that was a “concern.”

Josh Hart of the Knicks shoves the Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton in the back during the third quarter Wednesday night. TNT

“The whole world knows that Haliburton’s got a bad back, and Hart comes up and shoves him in the back. It’s all over Twitter right now,” Carlisle said after the loss.

Carlisle, who was ejected late in the game after a second technical foul, added that referee J.B. DeRosa was “looking right at” the play.

“There’s no whistle,” the coach said. “That was shocking.”

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle yells at an NBA referee during a Game 2 loss to the Knicks on Wednesday. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The Pacers submitted that play and more than six dozen others to the league office that they believe were wrongly called against them, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Carlisle said Wednesday night there were 29 plays from Game 1 the Pacers felt were “clearly” incorrectly called, but he decided against submitting them because he thought they’d get “a more balanced whistle” in Game 2.

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He then “promised” the team would be submitting a bunch of plays after Game 2.

The Knicks get to see all the plays the Pacers submitted to the league.

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

Josh Hart celebrates during the Knicks’ Game 2 win over the Pacers on Wednesday. Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

During his press conference full of complaints, Carlisle claimed the disparity in market size of the two teams played a role in the officiating.

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

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