It was only the first game of the playoffs but the Lakers dominant victory over Denver on Sunday already has George Karl dealing from the bottom of the deck. In a move straight from the Phil Jackson book on manipulation Karl has called out the officials for failing to call illegal defense on Andrew Bynum during his game one block party.
With all due respect to Karl who is, by far, one of the most underrated coaches in the history of sports this is a move of complete desperation. PJ was known for pulling this kind of a move, hoping to get into the heads of the officials to gain a slight advantage during a postseason series. So it’s not like this kind of thing is unprecedented and Mike Brown knows it as he called out Karl for going Phil.
“George, you may be doing the right thing following Phil Jackson’s lead. He’s a veteran coach and has been to the playoffs a long time. He’s got to work the officials in a lot of different ways. He’s just trying to work the officials. I applaud him for doing it.”
Still, Karl’s quote comes across as petty.
“(Bynum) was playing nice illegal defense. He zoned up good. I think we got one illegal defense (called against the Lakers). I saw about 30.”
Even if we were to entertain Bynum’s supposed roaming with no regard for checking his man on defense, how exactly does that factor into Ty Lawson trying to go at two seven footers in the paint? How does Karl explain his team’s inability to stop anything the Lakers were doing on offense?
Basically, Karl’s squad got punched in the mouth and instead of sitting his fighter down to give him a pep talk Karl blames the refs. Nice move. Let me know how that works for you after the Lakers roll again in game two tonight.