In his press conference, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle made it clear where the blame for the Game 1 loss to the Celtics should go. On himself. Photo Credit: ESPN. Photo Credit: ESPN.

For much of the second half of Tuesday night’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics, it looked like the Indiana Pacers would pull off the rough road victory. Then, they didn’t. In his postgame press conference, coach Rick Carlisle made it clear where the blame should go.

On himself.

With 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Indiana had a three-point lead and the ball. With a successful inbounds pass, the Pacers would have likely only needed to split a pair of free throws and the game would have been over. But the Pacers couldn’t get the ball in cleanly. Thanks to some tough defense from Jaylen Brown, Pascal Siakam couldn’t handle Andrew Nembhard’s inbounds pass. That created a turnover — which the Celtics took full advantage of when Brown hit a game-tying three.

Carlisle began his postgame press conference by talking about that play, shouldering the blame for the loss in the process.

“I love the way our guys fought in this game; this loss is totally on me,” he said. “With 10 seconds in regulation, we should have just taken the time-out, advanced the ball and found a way to get it in and made a free throw or two — and ended the game. But it didn’t happen. And we made some other mistakes. But our guys just need to concentrate on fighting the way they fought in this game from start to finish and we’ll be back Thursday.”

Interestingly, just before Nimhard’s ill-fated inbounds pass, ESPN play-by-play man Mike Breen said, “They still have a time-out if they can’t get it in.” So, it was definitely on the minds of people watching the game.

[Photo Credit: ESPN]

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