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Pacers answer coach’s profane challenge with dominant effort on boards

INDIANAPOLIS — Rick Carlyle’s directive was as powerful as it was blasphemous.

go rebound [expletive] ball.

his Pacers rebounded [expletive] Go outside the ball [redacted] In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, they defeated the Knicks 116-103 in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,274 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.


Myles Turner beat Isaiah Hartenstein for a rebound in Game 6, when the Knicks lost 116-103 to the Pacers. AP

“We needed that,” Aaron Nesmith said of Carlisle’s tough love. The team had to sit and watch an R-rated movie session (‘R’ for Rebound), but they lived up to it.

Indiana lived to see Sunday’s do-or-die Game 7 at the Garden. That’s because not only did they hold up on the board, but they beat some of the league’s rebounding powerhouses. On Friday, Carlisle’s team outscored the Knicks 47-35 after several F-bombs on the glass for the team’s failures.

TJ McConnell said of the tongue-lashing they received in the film room: “We brought it all on ourselves.” “After seeing that, [Game 5] The movie, it was kind of disgusting to watch. I thought it was terrible, but when I watched it again, it was even worse. So we tried to wash it away and try to work together on what we needed to do better, and we were. And we need to put in the same effort in Game 7.

“Yes, Game 5 was embarrassing on all fronts for all of us. And credit to Miles for trying so hard. [Turner] And then the big team and the whole group comes together and matures about it and understands what needs to be fixed and then goes out there and fixes it. ”

Indiana flipped the script and made major changes after the Game 5 humiliation.

The Pacers were outrebounded 53-29, and the difference on offense was even more pronounced at 20-5.

The rebound margin was laughable. However, the Pacers weren’t laughing, instead staring down their loss in Game 6.


Follow The Post’s coverage of the Knicks in the NBA playoffs


But on Friday, they pushed back, both figuratively and literally.

“It was just an activity. We played harder, but it was mandatory,” Carlisle said. “We outplayed them and that was obviously a big key for the series.”

After losing 63-36 in the paint in Game 5, Indiana led 62-38 on Friday. This is a matchup against the Knicks, who were 1st in the league in rebounding percentage and 3rd in the playoffs.

Turner had a team-high eight rebounds, and power forward Pascal Siakam had seven rebounds.

All of Indiana’s starters had at least six. The guards rushed in to help the big men try their best to get past Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein.

“Both are aggressiveness stats. We needed to do better in the offensive department,” Carlisle said. “I have to say Game 5 in New York was the least offensive game of the entire playoffs, so it didn’t make for a very enjoyable film session. [Thursday] looking at it. However, if we can overcome these ups and downs, our young team will grow. So you’ll know how much it will cost on Sunday. ”

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