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George Karl downplays contention Lakers played illegal defense

May 01, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Denver Coach George Karl speaks to reporters before a game against Orlando on April 22.
Denver Coach George Karl speaks to reporters before a game against Orlando… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )

Nothing in the NBA playoffs is certain except griping about the officiating and then  backtracking about it.

Soon after Lakers center Andrew Bynum dropped a triple-double in the Lakers' 103-88 Game 1 win Sunday over Denver, Nuggets Coach George Karl contended that "he was playing nice illegal defense," that 30 instances went uncalled. The argument sparked amusement from Bynum, Kobe Bryant and Coach Mike Brown, who contended again Tuesday that Karl is "doing what a lot of coaches do."

Before Game 2, however, Karl suddenly didn't consider it a big deal.

"You guys talked about it much more than I talked about it," he said. "There's a lot of teams playing illegally against us because that's what we do, the best way to stop us is to put someone in the middle of the paint as much as you can. We've conquered it many nights."

They didn't in Game 1. Bynum tied an NBA playoff record with 10 blocks. The Nuggets shot only 35.6% from the field. And they allowed six  Lakers to crack double figures. Still, it was fair to wonder what officials told Karl about the apparent non-calls since he seemed so upset.

"I can't hear very well when they talk," Karl said.

That only caused more head-scratching because Karl moments earlier had compared Staples Center to a "Broadway stage that has a history and energy to it" but doesn't compare to any loud arena, such as Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Arena. 

"You just said it's not that loud of a building," a reporter reminded Karl. 

"I just said I can't hear very well when they talk," Karl said. "I'm too old to talk about refereeing. We have the best referees in the world. I guarantee you that. But it's a tough game to referee too."


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