Why Rick Carlisle said the Pacers didn't foul with 8.5 seconds to go with a 3-point lead

BOSTON -- Rick Carlisle instructed the Pacers to foul when they had a three-point lead against the Celtics with 8.5 seconds to go in regulation of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night. However, always contained in that instruction to foul is the caveat to not do it if the opposing player with the ball seems to be entering his shooting motion.

And that, Carlisle said, was why All-Star forward Pascal Siakam did not foul Celtics All-NBA wing Jaylen Brown when he caught the inbound pass in the left corner. Brown ended up draining a 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds to go to tie the game at 117 and force overtime and the Celtics eventually won 133-128 in the extra period.

"He caught the ball and he was face-up so Pascal decided to lay off," Carlisle said. "I understand that's probably the right decision. You don't want to give up the four-point play."

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Siakam confirmed Carlisle's version of events. Siakam was screened by Celtics guard Derrick White before Brown caught the pass, which held him up on the way to get to Brown. By the time he arrived, he thought Brown was ready to shoot. Brown pump-faked first but then hit the 3.

"I wanted to foul as soon as I got to him, but I was a little late because of the screen," Siakam said. "He acted like he was going up, so I didn't want to do it. When I thought I was going to do it, it was too little too late. It's one of those where if you have an opportunity to do it, you do it, but it's just a judgment call. I felt like he was going to his motion. He had a pump fake, I didn't want to foul then. And it's a tough shot and I was in front of him. Maybe I could have contested it better, but it's just a tough call."

One way the Pacers might have been able to keep themselves out of that situation would have been to switch the screens, but there would have been some risk in that decision, too. Pacers point guard T.J. McConnell was guarding Derrick White, so he would've had to make the switch. As it happened, McConnell almost certainly would have been able to commit the foul before Brown got into his shooting motion. But the Pacers would have had to commit to that strategy before the play. Brown is 6-6, Siakam is 6-8, McConnell is 6-1, and if McConnell didn't arrive in time to foul, Brown would've had a clean look at the basket with his height advantage.

Siakam was better built to contest, but Brown still made the shot anyway.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Why Rick Carlisle said the Pacers didn't foul with a three-point lead