Los Angeles Lakers protest referee’s substitution ruling in Game 1 against Dallas Mavericks – NBA
On Tuesday, the two-time defending Champions Los Angeles Lakers sent a tape to the National Basketball Association office, protesting the referee’s decision who ruled out the substitution late in the game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Subsequently, the Lakers lost Game 1 of the Western Conference semi-final series 96-94 as the defeat added fuel to the fire.
The Mavericks were trailing by a point with 20.3 seconds remaining in the final buzzer when the team called a time-out. Andrew Bynum was subbed for Lamar Odom by the Lakers as the Dallas countered Phil Jackson’s move by introducing a smaller line-up. The
Mavericks brought in J.J. Barea for Shawn Marion and Peja Stojakovic for Tyson Chandler. Not to be outdone, Jackson tried to rework his substitution by putting in Steve Blake as a replacement for Bynum. However, the Hall of Famer was told by the referee that
he was not allowed to do so and the Lakers had to play Bynum in the defining moments of the game.
The veteran coach Phil said after Tuesday’s practice, "The decision at the end of the game where we couldn't put a substitute in, I think was misplaced. That was something that changed the complexity of the last play. I've never had that happen to me in
a ballgame before ... In a dead-ball situation, someone can be substituted in or out. He doesn't have to be in there for a play."
Lakers’ coach placed Andrew on Maverick’s prolific guard Jason Kidd, who was in-bounding the ball. According to Jackson‘s point of view, the 23-year-old centre Bynum may have deflected Jason’s pass which pushed Pau Gasol to jump in for a steal and in the
process, he managed to foul Dirk Nowitzki.
The versatile forward, Nowitzki grabbed the opportunity and landed two go-ahead free throws to snatch the lead 95-94 from the Lakers in crunch time that led the Mavericks for an electrifying victory.
"Right now we're trying to get ruling from the league on that because I think they misplayed that one," Jackson said.
On the other hand, NBA’s spokesperson Tim Frank made a clarification on Tuesday night that the Lakers remonstration is without merit. Andrew had to stay in the game once he was substituted for Odom as per league rules.
Considering $245,000 worth of fines for five different sets of comments since May 2009, the outspoken Jackson did not make any other objections publically regarding the officiating in the opening game of the Conference semi-finals. This time he settled down
after filing a protest and waits for the decision.
Lakers will take on the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Centre on Wednesday night for Game 2 in the best-of-seven series. The team is looking forward to striking back strong in order to level the contest and race away for the finals.