In an NBA Playoffs series, especially the conference finals, both teams are expected to battle it out until the final buzzer. Heck, the Minnesota Timberwolves did not give up and got back up from a 20-point deficit just to defeat the Denver Nuggets just a week ago. The same cannot be said for Rick Carlisle's Indiana Pacers squad. They may not have had the best injury luck with Tyrese Haliburton going down but one decision was so head-scratching. Even some members of the Boston Celtics faithful were left frazzled.

Rick Carlisle's head-scratching rotational call

May 23, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle watches from the sideline as they take on the Boston Celtics during game two of the eastern conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Carlisle sat down his starters with a lot of time remaining in the fourth quarter. There were a lot of reasons for their Game 2 loss against the Celtics but this could be the biggest factor. There was no Pascal Siakam, Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner, or Andrew Nembhard on the court. This call infuriated fans because the squad already did not have Tyrese Haliburton due to left leg soreness. It just looked like the Pacers gave up.

“NBA taking a major L in the rigged allegations. There is ABSOLUTELY NO F***ING REASON Rick Carlisle sits the starters in an 11-point game, but yet the Celtics starters finish the game. This is F***ING INSANE,” a user wrote.

One member of the Pacers faithful was so livid that they wrote a whole essay too, “Not only did Rick Carlisle wave the white flag with 10+ minutes left in the game, he failed to call a timeout despite a 17-0 run by Boston in the 3rd Quarter after being notorious for momentum killing timeouts all season even if it was a 6-2 run and the opposing crowd was getting loud. I’ve never seen a back-to-back worse performance from a coaching staff in my entire life.”

Some were even calling for the Pacers head coach to be investigated, “Rick Carlisle of the Pacers said he pulled the starters late in the third to never return bcz they were tired??!! Investigate this immediately it’s absurd NBA!! Did FanDuel call this?.”

Others just straight up called him expletives, “The NBA continues to be the worst league of the main 4. Rick Carlisle waves the white flag down 13 with 9 minutes to go in Game 2 of the ECF. What a garbage product.”

The rest? Well, they were in it for the memes.



Celtics bury the Pacers

Everything went back to normal in Game 2 of this NBA Playoffs clash. The Celtics pulled away, the Pacers clawed themselves back up but the lead was just too big for them. Jaylen Brown's ability to just slash the Pacers defense was impeccable. Moreover, no one could stay in front of him at all which led to going 14 for 27 on the field which netted Joe Mazzulla's squad a big 40 points. Also, the fact that Jayson Tatum and Derrick White went to combine for 46 points buried the Pacers really badly.

Furthermore, there were just no answers for when the Celtics grabbed the momentum and rode it. With no Tyrese Haliburton in the latter parts of the game, their ball handlers could not do anything. It also did not help that the Pacers got the ball stolen from them nine times while they were also forced to commit 16 turnovers. Hopefully, all of this gets fixed when they head to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to continue this NBA Playoffs series.