After being completely dominated by Andrew Bynum and the Lakers on Sunday afternoon, Nuggets coach George Karl was understandably frustrated. His team had just lost Game 1 by a score of 103-88, and Bynum tied a playoff record by blocking 10 shots. According to Karl, however, the Lakers center did so illegally.
“(Bynum) was playing nice illegal defense,” Karl said in his postgame press conference according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. “He zoned up good. I think we got one illegal defense (called against the Lakers). I saw about 30.”
Bynum was indeed called for a defensive three-second violation late in the third quarter, but that was it. As long as the defensive player is “actively guarding” an opponent — or within an arm’s length of them — it is technically not illegal defense. Karl complained to the officials several times but failed to change their minds.
“It just isn’t going to be called,” Karl continued. “We know it’s not going to be called. It’s just not a thing that’s called. We play too fast sometimes and we don’t let the call happen and then other times, the action creates the vision of the referees. (Bynum) was sensational defensively. Pau Gasol was good out front and they did a great job protecting the basket.”
Karl later added that the Nuggets would not have won even if the call was made more, and hes right. The Lakers blocked 15 shots as a team, and it’s unlikely the officials missed 15 illegal defense calls. Denver has to find a way to overcome L.A.’s size if they want to hang around in the series.
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