The referees overturned a call, claiming it was an inadvertent whistle, something Reggie Miller, Stan Van Gundy and Brian Anderson disputed. Photo Credit: TNT Photo Credit: TNT

Trailing by six points with just over a minute remaining in Game 2 of their postseason series against the New York Knicks, the Indiana Pacers needed a break. They looked to get one but that quickly changed. In the process, there was confusion.

New York’s Isaiah Hartenstein was whistled for a double-dribble as he tried to dribble the ball up the court. When the replay was shown, it was apparent that double-dribble was an incorrect call. Color commentator Reggie Miller said as much saying, “Where? I don’t see it.” Both play-by-play man Brian Anderson and fellow color commentator Stan Van Gundy agreed with Miller.

Shortly thereafter, the officials conferenced and blew the call off, saying that it was an “inadvertent whistle.” That did nothing to ease the confusion.

“How is it inadvertent? I heard it…I heard the whistle and the call,” Miller said.

“And the signal,” Anderson added.

“Right. And the signal. He signaled double-dribble,” an agreeing Miller said.

“That sounds better than ‘I blew the call,’ Reg,” Van Gundy opined.

Upon seeing the replay again, Anderson and Miller both restated that Hartenstein did not double-dribble.

The sequence led to Indiana coach, Rick Carlisle, getting ejected. Following the game, Carlisle had a lot to say about the officiating through the first two games and commented specifically on the ejection.

“The two technicals, you know, you gotta make a stand for your guys. You gotta stand up for what’s right and what’s not right. And that was it.”

Of course, one point that can’t be overstated is that overturning the double-dribble was the correct call. So, if the goal is always to get the calls correct, why is it a talking point?

The answer to that is what happened in Game 1.

With less than a minute left in a tie game, the Pacers appeared to get a steal which would have likely led to an easy go-ahead bucket. That was overturned due to a kicked ball — which was not what happened. But since the play was not reviewable, Indiana not only didn’t get the points but also didn’t get the turnover.

Officiating is always a talking point in the NBA Playoffs. It’s even more of a talking point in close games. And when it’s a series between a big market and a small market team, the conspiracy theories are inevitable. Certainly we can expect to here more from this as the series progresses.

[CJ Fogler on Twitter/X, Photo Credit: TNT]

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