Denver coach George Karl used his press conference following the Nuggets' 103-88 loss to try to get into the referees heads and gain more favorable officiating in Game 2.
"(Andrew Bynum) was playing nice illegal defense," Karl said after Bynum tied the all-time NBA playoff record with 10 blocked shots Sunday. "He zoned up good. I think we got one illegal defense (called against the Lakers). I saw about 30."
Lakers coach Mike Brown chalked Karl's comments up to nothing more than gamesmanship.
"He’s a veteran coach, he’s been in the playoffs a long time," Brown said after practice Monday. "He’s got to try to work the officials in a lot of different ways. He’s just trying to work the officials, work the public a little bit which I applaud him for doing."
Brown was reminded that going public with critiques of the officiating was a favorite tactic of former Lakers coach Phil Jackson during playoff series.
"George Karl might have a point, because Phil’s got 10 or 11 (championships)," Brown said. "So George, you may be doing the right thing following Phil Jackson’s lead."
Does publicly lobbying for calls actually work?
"I don’t know," Brown said. "I know I’ve said stuff before and does it change it the next time we play? I don’t know. I don’t think so. But, like I said, if Phil’s done it, Phil’s got 10 or 11 (championships), he’s got the most so it’s got to work to a certain degree I’m guessing."
Bynum let out a brief smile when asked about Karl's contention and explained how his defense was in fact legal.
"If people cut through the lane you can touch them (to restart the three-second illegal defense count) and stay in there the whole time," Bynum said Monday. "That’s part of the game."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.