Rick Carlisle Said Indiana’s Game 1 Loss Was ‘Totally On Me’ For Not Calling Timeout Before Late Turnover

The Indiana Pacers were 10 seconds away from a stunning Game 1 win in Boston, but the young team in their first trip deep in the postseason struggled to execute down the stretch in what became a gutting overtime loss.

Leading by three with the ball and 10 seconds on the clock after Boston took its last foul to give in the backcourt, all the Pacers needed to do was inbound the ball and hit some free throws. Instead, Andrew Nembhard’s pass to Pascal Siakam got knocked away by Jaylen Brown and then touched by Siakam as he ran out of bounds under Boston’s basket for a turnover.

The Celtics would get the ball to Brown in the corner on the ensuing inbound, where he hit a game-tying three over Siakam to force OT, where Jayson Tatum delivered the big buckets to give the Celtics the win and a 1-0 series lead.

It was a brutal loss for the Pacers, and after the game Pacers coach Rick Carlisle took full responsibility for the loss, noting Indiana should’ve advanced the ball to make for an easier inbounds situation than on the sideline in the backcourt.

“This loss is totally on me. With 10 seconds in regulation, we should have just taken the timeout, advance the ball and found a way to get it in and made a free throw or two and ended the game.”

Carlisle also confirmed he wanted the team to foul up three, but because Brown caught the ball in the corner and immediately went up for the shot, Siakam pulled back to avoid a potential four-point play to lose. That was the right decision, because you can’t allow a chance to lose in regulation at that point, but it never should have even gotten to that point. While Indiana is a young team, Carlisle is too experienced a head coach to put his team in that position.

Tyrese Haliburton wasn’t willing to let his coach fall on the sword, noting his two late turnovers played a big role in Indiana’s loss and felt those cost the Pacers more than anything.

These are the right things for a coach and star to say, but it’s hard to see how Indiana bounces back from this in this particular series. As the underdog, the Pacers can’t be the team giving away opportunities to win the game, and it certainly seems likely they’ll have serious regrets once this series is over about dropping a road Game 1 they should have won.