Several missed calls by refs lead to the Pacers falling short in Game 1 vs. Knicks

The Indiana Pacers were on the wrong side of several bad calls by the referees down the stretch and it ended up in a loss for them in Game 1.
May 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) drives to the basket
May 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) drives to the basket / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers looked like they were on their way to a Game 1 victory. The bench had played great. It was a tie ballgame and Aaron Nesmith looked like he had a clean steal. Instead, they called a kicked-ball violation him. Replays showed it was clearly off his hand and nowhere near his foot.

But because the refs called it a kicked ball, it can't be challenged. That gave the Knicks the ball back. Donte DiVincenzo then hit a three to give the Knicks a three-point lead. Just like that, the Pacers were trailing. That wasn't the only horrible call the Pacers had go against them.

With the Pacers down one and with the ball with 18 seconds left, the refs called a moving screen on Myles Turner. That exact play had been happening all game long on both sides. That was the only time the refs called an offensive foul for a moving screen.

The referees don't allow the Pacers to win Game 1 of the second round vs. the Knicks

Earlier in the game, Jalen Brunson hacked Myles Turner. The Knicks challenged it and they overturned it despite there being clear body contact. That successful challenge allowed them to have a second challenge to win when the refs missed a call when Brunson dribbled it off of Andrew Nembhard's foot and they called it Pacers ball.

The referees were horrible all game. They rewarded Brunson with hunting fouls and not even really trying to score the basketball. The Knicks shot 26 free throws while the Pacers shot just 19. It was really a poor performance and the NBA better make sure that doesn't happen again.

Yes, the refs were bad, but that's not the only reason why the Pacers couldn't win this game. Tyrese Haliburton had two costly turnovers down the stretch. Andrew Nembhard had an away-from-the-play foul that led to Brunson getting a free-throw to make it a two-possession game at the end. The Pacers still made mistakes.

The three best playoff Pacers/Knicks moments. dark. Next. Next story

I hate complaining about the refs because it's never productive. That was one of the worst officiated playoff games I've ever seen though and they need to be called out on it.