Blog Entry

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Posted on: May 28, 2009 5:30 am
LOS ANGELES -- An NBA playoff series doesn't begin until you have a good ol' referee conspiracy.

Conspiracy theory, I should add.

And a deeply flawed one.

Nonetheless, we're in for an interesting day in the Los Angeles area Thursday now that a member of the Nuggets has told the Denver Post -- anonymously, of course -- that he believes the Lakers bought their 103-94 victory over the Nuggets in Game 5 Wednesday night for the very reasonable price of $50,000.

For those keeping score at home, that's how much Lakers coach Phil Jackson and the Lakers paid in fines for complaining about the officiating after Game 4.

"The Lakers paid $50,000 to win that game," the anonymous Nuggets player told the Post. "They got their money's worth."

The player did not allow his name to be used, for fear of retribution from the league, the Post reported. But let's be fair. The player didn't allow his name to be used because he didn't want to pay a fine himself for such a salacious comment. If I were Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, I'd make it my business to find out who said that, and deduct the inevitable fine that will be assessed to the Nuggets from his paycheck.

If it was Kenyon Martin, for example, I'd ask him to forfeit $10,000 of his game check for each of the nine shots he missed from the field.

If it was Nene, for instance, I'd ask him to pay up for each of the 33 points Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom combined to score in the paint that he was supposed to have been defending.

It doesn't matter who said it, really. What matters is that the Nuggets have resorted to a different sort of dirty trick than the one that raised Jackson's ire after Game 4. This was worse than Dahntay Jones tripping Kobe Bryant in that game. This reeked of sour grapes.

The Nuggets were called for 30 personal fouls in Game 5 Wednesday night. The Lakers were called for 22. The resulting disparity of five free throws wasn't enough to account for the nine-point difference on the scoreboard. But that's not the point.

I don't pretend to have watched all 52 fouls called in the game, nor have I gone frame-by-frame through all the fouls that weren't called. And as busy as I'll be Thursday getting reaction from the various parties involved, I won't have time. But that's not the point. To the naked eye, it was a liberally officiated game at both ends of the floor by referees Monty McCutcheon, Ron Garretson, and Tom Washington. Obvious contact in the act of shooting and/or driving to the basket was ignored at both ends.

Before the game, Jackson playfully commented on his $25,000 fine -- an additional $25,000 was assessed to the Lakers -- by saying, "I'm a gardener. I like planting seeds. Constantly."

After the game, Nuggets coach George Karl channeled his inner Stan Van Gundy, lamenting the fact that playoff games have turned into a contest of which coach can gripe the most in hopes of influencing the officials.

"I'm not going to get fined," said Karl, who proceeded to make comments that almost certainly will get him fined. "... It was a difficult whistle to play, no question about that. Every player in my locker room is frustrated, from guards to big guys. Look at the stat sheet. Gasol goes after at least 20 jump shots and 20 shots to the rim and gets one foul. Our big guys have 16. I don't know. Nene has six fouls; three or four of them don't exist. And it's frustrating when you take one of your big guys off the court for that many minutes.

"I think Stan Van Gundy says it right," Karl continued. "In the postgame, we're lobbying for the league to help us with the refereeing. And this is too good a series. It's too good of teams competing that we're sitting here just confused by the whistle."

I don't think the referees had anything to do with the Nuggets' 5-for-21 shooting in the fourth quarter. I don't think the referees had anything to do with Denver's four consecutive turnovers in the third, when the Lakers started making their move. But I disagree with one anonymous Nuggets player -- speaking for the entire locker room, apparently. We'll see Thursday, when the teams speak with the media before flying to Denver, if anybody backs him up.

My guess? It's going to be a costly day for both sides.
Category: NBA

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2009 6:34 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Maybe the Denver ought to do something besides throw up jump shots. 

Since: Oct 5, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 6:31 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

8 fouls in an NBA game is nothing. Anyone who thinks there should always be the same amount of fouls called is an idiot in both mathematics and sports. The chances of them being equal is very slim probably under 10%. Infact a differential of 8 very well might be in within the first standard deviation for the average of a game. I don't know I haven't collected the data but I guarentee its within 2 standard deviations and therefore is not considered unusual.  Its inevitable that some teams foul more and some draw more fouls. Maybe one or two calls go the wrong way in a row and people are up in arms about a conspiracy. Seriously some of you people need to not open your mouth because you are so poorly educated.

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 6:30 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Now you know, how laker fans felt after game 4, So now we are even.

Since: Jun 10, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 6:25 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

 I totally agree Ftballgenius.

Since: Oct 7, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 6:24 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

crossed out if they can't make a shot



Since: Oct 7, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2009 6:18 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

I read every line you typed and I am still dumb-founded with your lack of deep insight into the game last night.  It was as obvious as the sun rising, that the officiating was a factor last night.  You supposedly thought you used great sarcasm in your column when you actually used a lot of short sightedness.  Consider this, then consider hiding this column so others will not tear into your small intelligence:

#1- Kenyon Martin would not miss so many shots if he wasn't being fouled

- Gasol and Odom don't score that many points in the paint when the guy who is supposed to be defending them (Nene) is on the bench with foul trouble

#3- The Nuggets don't shoot 5-21 in the fourth quarter if they aren't being fouled in the process a lot of times

As far as the turnovers and the Nuggets mind set, when you are frustrated and feel you don't have control of your destiny, you lose focus and they obviously lost focused.  The entire team was discombobulated with the officiating that warrants some merit to something not right with the way the game was called, not to mention the exact opposite in disparities of calls from one game to the other.

Karl, nailed it, when he said this is too good of a series to allow the refs to control the game.  The refs have already been exposed of cheating and scrupulous tactics, what makes this different?  The refs were factor in the game last night and that is unfortunate.  I hope there are fines givien out and not to the teams or players/coaches, but to the refs and have them all replaced
#1- Kenyon Martin only makes shots if he is wide open. Even if a fan yells at him he'll miss.
#2- Stop whining. The only reason Nene is on the bench is because Pau and Odom know how to create fouls. That is skill.
#3- Stop whining. The Nuggets are just overrated and can't hit a shot.


Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 5:51 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

THE FIX WAS IN!!!! Billips started out Hot!!! he is the one man that the Nuggets need on the floor to beat the Lakers. 2 Quick BS calls (especially the Layup) I knew right then that the Nuggets had no chance of winning the game. When the announcers, who are getting paid to promote the BS, question the calls you know there is something fishy. The whole Lakers/Nuggets Series has no magic, it all feels contrived. How else can you explain 4 starters with six or more fouls at home. How else can you explain getting a tech, because your excited about making a shot. David Stern wants Kobe in the Finals, thats how you expain it!!!!!

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 5:47 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

Nene's last foul was a charge on Gasol. Poor call, plain and simple. When a player lowers his shoulder, and the defender is moving his feet to stay in front, then the foul is on the offensive player. Try again zippy!

Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2009 5:39 pm

RE:Berger Tell Me You're Smarter Than That!!!!!

#1- Kenyon Martin would not miss so many shots if he wasn't being fouled - the lakers are playing the numbers game, are leaving him open on purpose!!!, but i bet you weren't complaining in the first half when he had ten points and hit three of those outside jumpshots?

#2- Gasol and Odom don't score that many points in the paint when the guy who is supposed to be defending them (Nene) is on the bench with foul trouble - if you watch the game, most of Nene's fouls were from guard/wing penetration.  not many fouls of the fouls were on him defending Gasol, just the last one which i am sure is all you remember 

#3- The Nuggets don't shoot 5-21 in the fourth quarter if they aren't being fouled in the process a lot of times - if you actually believe this line then you should watch that fourth quarter over again.  The Nuggets really stunk it up in the fourth quarter!!!

And just a note, if the Nuggets or should i say Dahntey Jones wouldn't have made so many obvious hard fouls on Kobe in the last two games in Denver, you wouldn't of had to worry about the officials.  I think the Denver team was sooo worried about the officials calling everything that they didn't want to play defense the way they usually do(DIRTY).  If anything the officials did what Coach Karl asked and put their whistles in their pockets and let them play more last game. 

The sad truth of the matter is that Denver was on the road and the entire team outside of Melo or Billups doesn't play very well on the road.  Which is why JR Smith, Kleiza, Kenyon, Carter, and almost every bench player on the roster had a very pedestrian game.  Good Luck in Game 6, you'll need it!  I have a feeling Kobe isn't going to be as passive in a close out game as he was in Game 5.

GO LAKERS!!!Tongue out

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2009 5:36 pm

Nuggets accuse Lakers of buying a win

When you mentioned baseball you perked me up a bit.  I recall the stink the umpires put up when TV was showing the balls and strikes as they really were.  That is no longer allowed because the umps were simple wrong too many times.  It is also well known that the major pitching stars in baseball have a larger strike zone.  Everybody is ok with it because if you become a star you will get that benefit too.  Sports are made on the backs of stars.  A few people complained about Jorden taking his five step no dribble to the hoop shot but it was pretty much ok with everyone else.  All I am saying is that I really don't see where the NBA officiating is intentionally changing the outcomes of games.  Even if the officiating is bad, it really seems to be equally as bad for both teams.  A lot of people see it different because you tend to catch every call that goes against your team while letting the obvious fouls your team commits go by the wayside or brush them off as good physical basketball. 

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