Here’s the latest controversial call from the Knicks/Pacers series, which is tied at two games apiece after Indy totally reamed NY on Sunday:

No call. Maybe the Pacers sending 78 video clips to the NBA and playing at home helped turn the ref tide, or did it?

New York shot 31 free throws in a 32-point loss on Sunday afternoon. Indy shot eight. So for all of talk about fouls in this series, Game 4 totally flipped the narrative upside down. The Knicks got their calls and got blown out anyway, but if you watched a little bit of the game, New York didn’t commit any fouls of their own because they barely played any defense. Oftentimes, they weren’t even close enough to make contact with a guy, hence the lack of whistles. Indy shot 56.8% from the floor, so it was mostly open shots going in, and that scrappiness on the glass, loose ball collisions – those scenarios were largely marginal in Game 4.

It’s incredibly pathetic, but I have to admit I’m hate watching this Knicks series like I’ve never hate watched anything before. Why? Well, the Sixers are out, the Flyers weren’t even in, the Union are totally meh, and TV options after the 1st place Phillies are slim. Paltry. We’re enjoying baseball, and then what? The NBA playoffs, I guess. There’s a curiosity to see if Indy can do what Philly couldn’t do, and then you take what you watch and ask yourself why the motherfucking Pacers have the guys to get it done but the Sixers don’t. Is this Indy team really that good? I’m not sure. Tyrese Haliburton is a star, but hasn’t hit his ceiling. Pascal Siakam has a ring. T.J. McConnell is playing great off the bench. The role players contribute. But this squad finished in a three-way tie with the Magic and Sixers and that’s why the seeding worked out the way it did. It’s also why the regular season matters, because if the Sixers had scraped one more game this year, they wouldn’t have been a play-in team in the first place.

You also wonder if New York’s style and injury list are both catching up to them. OG Anunoby is out, they’re already down three guys (Bogdanovic, Randle, Robinson), and Thibs is running the remaining squad into the ground. They didn’t log huge minutes Sunday because of the blow out, but Josh Hart played more than 42 minutes in the eight previous games. Same with Donte DiVincenzo, and Brunson has only logged less court time because of those small tweaks that caused him to come out of the game.

But you have to think about the ramifications here. Can you imagine if the Knicks make it to the Conference Finals before the Sixers do? What an utterly pitiful thing that would be. The Sixers have had Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, blah blah and can’t get out of the second round. Now the Knicks grab a bunch of Villanova guys and find themselves with home court in what now amounts to a three-game series.

The worst part is that the team itself isn’t necessarily dislikeable. Yeah, Brunson is annoying when he foul baits, and slows up to wait for trailing contact, but it’s not the entirety of his game. Trae Young was worse and Joel can be worse sometimes when he’s not using the rip through on the low block, but instead swinging into guys from the elbow or nail. Hart is a blue collar grinder who would look great in a Sixers uniform, DiVincenzo is a legit starter, OG is a worker, Miles McBride an underdog type of guy, etc. It’s hard to hate most of the players and it’s more about their insufferable fan base, F-list celebrities like Turtle from Entourage and the larger-level meaning described in the last paragraph. The Knicks really should not be this good. That’s what’s bothersome. They are annoyingly good and should not be.

We’ll never hear the end of it if New York beats the Pacers to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. These people deserve nothing: