Rick Carlisle and the Indiana Pacers suffered a demoralizing loss to the New York Knicks in Game 5 of their second-round Eastern Conference playoff series on Tuesday night, falling by a score of 121-91. The Pacers also fell behind 3-2 in the series in the process.

Afterward, Carlisle provided a pretty blunt take on the loss.

You can say that again.

In spite of the Knicks playing a very small lineup, Indiana was outrebounded 53-29 in the defeat. The Pacers surrendered a hefty 20 offensive boards and gave up 26 second-chance points, which was a major reason why Indy lost the game by such a wide margin. It also didn't help that Indiana turned the ball over 18 times to just nine for New York.

On top of that, the Knicks outscored the Pacers in the paint 62-36.

Indiana will try to stave off elimination when it hosts New York in Game 6 on Friday night.

The Pacers have lost all of their momentum

Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle argues with an official in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks during game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

They say that momentum does not carry over from game-to-game in the playoffs. Well, if it does, the Pacers just lost all of it.

Indiana had initially fallen behind 2-0 in this series, but roared back to win Games 3 and 4 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse to even things up at two games apiece. With the way Indy won Game 4, everyone assumed that things had completely swung in the club's favor, as the Pacers blew out the Knicks 121-89.

At that time, New York looked totally gassed. Its injuries had piled up, and the extensive minutes that role players like Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo had been playing appeared to be taking their toll on the shorthanded Knicks squad. As a result, many felt New York was done and that the series was now Indiana's to lose.

Instead, the Pacers came out and laid an egg in Game 5, surrendering 44 points to Jalen Brunson and watching as Alec Burks—who wasn't even in New York's rotation in the first round of the playoffs and didn't play in Games 1 or 2 of this series—burned them for 18 points off the bench.

All of Indiana's deficiencies were on full display on Tuesday evening, as Carlisle's club ranked just 24th in the NBA in defensive efficiency and 28th in rebounding this season. New York, on the other hand, finished 10th in defense and third in rebounding. The funny thing is, the Knicks are missing arguably their best defender and rebounder in Mitchell Robinson at the moment.

The problem for the Pacers in Game 5 was that they couldn't score, either, with their 91 points representing their lowest output of the playoffs thus far. Carlisle's group was supposed to have the fresher legs, but instead, Indiana looked like the team that was battling severe adversity. The Pacers had been averaging 117.5 points per game in the Knicks series going into Tuesday night's action.

Perhaps the playoff pressure is getting to this young Indiana squad. This marks the first time Indy has made the postseason since 2020, and Myles Turner is the only holdover from that squad. Other than Pascal Siakam, who won a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019, this Pacers team is still very green as far as playoff experience is concerned.

That was on full display in Game 5.

We'll see what adjustments Carlisle makes heading into a do-or-die Game 6 for Indiana. The good news for the Pacers is that the home team has not yet lost a game in this series.