Rick Carlisle has surprisingly respectable take on Knicks-Pacers Game 1 officiating

He's no Nick Nurse.
New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Rick Carlisle
New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Rick Carlisle / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

In case you haven't noticed, the New York Knicks are no longer facing a Nick Nurse-coached team. He'd have gone off in his postgame press conference after Game 1 ended if they were. New York benefitted from a kick ball call that should've resulted in a Knicks turnover. Instead, Donte DiVincenzo hit a clutch three-pointer.

Who knows how the game would've ended if the officials had seen things differently? Sadly, that question has been asked too many times this season by fans of all 30 teams. Adam Silver would never admit it, but the NBA has an officiating problem.

Luckily, on Monday, the Knicks benefitted. Rick Carlisle could've gone on an epic postgame press conference rant, but instead, he refused to talk about the officiating. Carlisle said he didn't expect the Pacers to get favorable calls at MSG.

Carlisle refuses to address officiating after wild Knicks-Pacers ending

In the first round, Tyrese Maxey didn't blame the referees for Philadelphia's Game 2 loss. He gained the respect of New York fans for that. Carlisle took the same route. Does that mean the head coach agrees with the calls? Absolutely not.

Indiana led by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter but let New York score 39. Tyrese Haliburton didn't score a single point in the final quarter. The Pacers star (who was questionable with back spasms) finished with six points in 36 minutes. T.J. McConnell, who had 18 points off the bench, was far more of a defensive headache for the Knicks than Haliburton.

Indiana's bench outscored New York's bench 46-3. None of those three points came from Deuce McBride, who shot 0-of-2. Mitchell Robinson had two points, and Precious Achiuwa had one.

The Knicks had no business winning Game 1. Some fans had already accepted that New York would enter Game 2 down 1-0. By this point, everyone should know not to count out the Knicks. Even if New York has a double-digit lead late in the game, anything can happen.

While officiating will be the main storyline from Monday's win, Carlisle knows there was more than that to it. The Knicks can't bank on Haliburton having a bad game again, just like they can't bank on calls going their way again. Advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals won't be easy. Expect Indiana to come out hot on Wednesday at MSG.