Tom Thibodeau refuses to use Carlisle's crying strategy after Knicks' Game 3 loss

Carlisle was fined $35,000 for his postgame comments on Wednesday.
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

The New York Knicks went into Friday's Game 3 against the Pacers without four rotation players, but that didn't stop them from fighting until the last minute. After looking lifeless in the first quarter and being down by double digits, the Knicks lost by five, 111-106.

It's a miracle that New York was in a position to win the game. Missed shots, free throws, poor decision-making, and rebounding were the difference down the stretch. Even though there were some questionable officiating decisions, they weren't the reason for the loss.

In Tom Thibodeau's postgame press conference, he was asked if he thought the game was called equally. Unlike Rick Carlisle, who whined about the officiating after Game 2, Thibodeau said he won't comment until he looks at the film. Even more importantly, he said the bottom line is that the Knicks have to "find a way to win."

Tom Thibodeau doesn't put NBA officials on blast after Knicks loss

Like Ben Stiller said, New York isn't going to cry about the officiating.

Doing so cost Carlisle $35,000 after he claimed that small market teams weren't getting equal treatment. Josh Hart called Carlisle's comments "stupid" and "disrespectful."

If the Knicks focused on the officiating rather than what went wrong on Friday, they wouldn't be prepared for Sunday's afternoon game. One thing about Thibodeau is that he will have his players ready to go, which is why the next man-up mentality has served New York so well.

Look at Alec Burks, who entered Game 3 with only one minute of 2024 postseason basketball under his belt. The veteran shot 4-of-6 from the field and 2-of-4 from three in 21 minutes for 14 points. Donte DiVincenzo had the best playoff game of his career, finishing with 35 points on 7-of-11 shooting from deep. With his good friend Brunson struggling, DiVincenzo stepped up. The Knicks needed every one of those points (and could've used him more down the stretch).

So, while James Dolan could dig into his pockets to pay for Thibodeau's fine, New York has bigger issues to worry about. The Knicks must rest, watch game film, and lock in for Game 4. No excuses!