Friday, May 29th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  46 responses

Game 6 Pressure on Lakers, Nuggets and Refs

by Marcel Mutoni

Listening to both teams, the media that covers them, and the respective fan bases, the highly-entertaining Western Conference Finals have been as much about the Lakers and Nuggets as they have about the officials in charge of policing the action.

With Game 6 looming, that’s not about to change — if anything, the refs seem to have wrested the attention away from the players on the court.

From the Denver Post:

Carmelo Anthony vs. Kobe Bryant started as the dominant story line of the Western Conference finals. But the talk now has faded into a near-daily conversation about referees, calls made, call not made and the effect it has had on the Nuggets and Lakers. The officials are becoming the story in a league that likes to keep that aspect as quiet as possible.

“When you get hit in the back of the head, knocked on your (butt), we’re human beings,” Nuggets coach George Karl said. “We react to the people of authority. Referees are the ones that have the authority that control the game the way they want to control it. I don’t think we lost the game because of the officiating. I don’t think I ever said that. It’s just that there’s a frustration when you’re playing at this stage on this level of intensity. It’s just hard. When you’re a competitor and you lose, you feel pain. And then you feel anger because of some of the things that you don’t have control over.”

J.R. Smith, however, said that [Phil] Jackson’s comments after Game 4 stuck in some players’ heads. “You always think about stuff like that,” Smith said. “You know that he went out there complaining, so you’re expecting them to get the calls the next game. So, we knew it was going to happen. We just didn’t play through it.”

It’s never a good sign for a league when its refs are hogging the spotlight away from the true stars of the game.

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  • http://www.basketball247.co.uk Greg Tanner


  • http://web.mac.com/roaringred bbaby

    This will be a great game if the refs don’t screw it up.


    the nuggets earn the calls that they get against them. they are a dirty team. if they were forced to play a clean game of basketball they wouldn’t be anywhere near the conference finals.

  • http://slamonline.com B. Long

    Kobe drops 50 tonight.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    B, are you saying he’s going to drop 50 stack betting against his own team for the fu*k of it?

  • http://slamonline.com B. Long


  • http://mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    I have read a total of 2 comments by GAMBLER, and i must say, you are either a ridiculous fanboy or ridiculousy dumb

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    (sighs too)

  • http://slamonline.com B. Long

    So E, have you bought that Dwight Howard jersey yet? Or are you waiting to see who actually pulls out the series before you find another bandwagon to jump on?

  • CDef28

    I thought the officials did an alright job last game. They decided since they can’t get any calls right, they just called the really hard fouls. But at least they were consistent with that on both sides. The only bad call was against Nene, and watching it live it appeared he flopped (although he really did get an elbow).

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Nah…..I’m not a frontrunner like you. I just cheer for anyone not linked to Team Puss.


    i’m a firm believer in team puss, much better than team dick. not to bash anybody


    that wasn’t a personal attack on anyone here, just letting my personal preferences be known.

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    gambler: You’re an idiot!

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    On a side note, bron bron shut turk’s a** in the 4th. No defense my a**!


    bron bron? whats with all the stupid nicknames?

  • CDef28

    Kobe= Three Championship cookies
    LeBron= One Ugly puppet


    cdef, thats what i’m trying to say

  • lakers4life

    GAMBLER, get the hell out of this world please.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    This GAMBLER guy is kind of entertaining.

  • http://www.facebok.com/people/Sesa-Opas/738856357 Sesa

    I annoint GAMBLER as the new Chukaz.
    I’m a big fan of Kobe but I don’t think that The Nuggets are THAT dirty. Maybe Dahntay is a bit Dirty but overall the Nuggets are a good team. I hate Melo’s Warner Bros Tats, though.


    Carmello is okay, he doesnt try to be dirty. but martin and nene are intentionally ridiculously dirty players

  • truthteller

    Eboy, what would slamonline be without a healthy dose of your hate comments?

  • http://nationofmillions.ca ciolkstar

    Melo’s WB Tat is for “West Baltimore” not “Warner Bros”…
    And the Nuggets lost game 5 because they couldn’t make shots in the fourth, but I gotta admit that the refs allowed the Lakers to reach, swat, and slap at the ball throughout the entire game.
    And, yeah, I’m glad someone here picked up on how drastically the magic offense chaged when they put Bron on Hedo, aside from one driving layup where Bron got caught on a screen, Hedo was invisible.
    Meanwhile Bron was invincible. I’m not sure if he can carry the Cavs like that two more times, but I certainly wouldn’t bet against it.

  • http://www.facebok.com/people/Sesa-Opas/738856357 Sesa

    @Ciolkstar. Sorry ’bout that but the pattern is like Warner Bros A LOT. No worries Nugget’s fans. Nuggets will win game 6

  • CDef28

    LeBron is a good player, but I will never support him. Why does he blame teammates for losses when he has the ball for the majority of the game? Basketball is suppost to be a 5-on-5 game, whereas James makes it 1 on 5. If LeBron wants to blame teammates for not stepping up, he might want to let them get offensive opportunities first.

  • TADOne

    If Kobe goes for 50 tonight, i’ll be willing to bet that the Lakers lose.

  • http://www.lebronsucks.com nate the great

    quick question.
    Lebron has 0 rings.
    Kobe has 3 rings.
    say kobe and lebron make it to the finals and lebron wins.
    is his 1 ring > than kobe’s 3?
    or what?

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    nate the great: Kobe’s rings are shaq rings. I think people should keep that in mind. Wade almost singlehandedly won his ring in 2006 but he couldn’t have gotten that without shaq either. Kobe’s rings are not supposed to be less meaningful but i’m just saying.

  • CDef28

    Cb 34 I can tell you are a LeBron fan. Shaq needed Kobe, Kobe needed Shaq. Basketball is a team sport. No one can do it alone. LeBron can try, the officials will certainly as well, but he will find out that he can’t do it alone.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    CDef28, you are making too much sense. The haters aren’t trying to listen to the truth. If Kobe’s rings are Shaq’s people, then are Jordan’s rings Pippen’s?

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    cdef28:I never said you can do it alone but what bron is doing now if he wins will probably be the closest thing to it. Look, not taking away from kobe but i’m just saying the chances of playing with shaq in his prime increases your chances tenfold. In his prime! Pippen will probably go down as one of the best no.2′s ever. Bron’s got mo will. Cmon man. It’s pretty obvious what kind of havoc bron is wreaking throughout the league. All you kobe lovers just ain’t ready to accept it. I do not hate kobe but i do think he’s number 2 or 3 behind bron and possibly dwyane.

  • QaSaNoVa

    Look for Kobe to put in some serious work tonight. They better start Melo on him or it will be a wrap early! D*ckhead Jones can play dirty all he wants but he’s just another long line of scrubby Dukies to be sent in front of the firing squad.

  • CDef28

    cb 34 I can’t even see putting James ahead of Bryant, especially not Wade. When LeBron gets three rings and develops a killer instinct, let me know. LeBron is a good player, but he dominates the ball the whole game. Kobe did a few years back, I know, but he had 3 rings before he even started that.

  • http://www.showmeyourwits.com showmeyourwits

    The “Shaq Rings” argument is nothing but a sad attempt to take away Kobe’s accomplishments. If having Shaq was so automatic then Kobe would have 4 rings. The truth is that Kobe was the only one who showed up against Detroit while Shaq let Sheed and every other big own him.

  • http://http//www.youtube.com The Promise

    @showmeyourwits: Kobe had the his lowest scoring average in a finals series in 2004, for your information.

  • http://gmail.com KB24

    if kobe scores 40+ the lakers will lose. kobe has to be a facilletater until the 4th quarter

  • http://www.nba.com JE

    It’s times like these you wish Denver hadn’t traded Marcus Camby for 3 cigarettes and a box of condoms.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    wow, Nene sure shrivelled up(pun fully intended) in this series. 1, one solid game, that’s all he could muster. Way to put pressure on the laker frontcourt, Mr. Footwork. From game 4 on, all those nice open shots for the Nuggs guards, turned into highly contested ones. Why? Hey, Lakers had no reason to double down once in a while. Kenyon takes TP3-like floaters going to the hoop, and misses a lot of them. Andersen is not a consistent threat on O, and Melo got contained (that ankle ok, Melo?) biggest no show the last two games was the messiah from Detroit. Turnovers, bad decisions, bad shot selection, inability to take it inside against ANY LA defender. Gotta give props to Mambiatch’s killer game (and Pau’s, respect) but stop with the acting for the cameras, Kob’s. A “mentor” you a’int. You’re just trying to confirm what Spike’s movie is throwing at us, the whole caring teammate, student of the game nonsense. We saw the real you in games 1 & 2.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    and if purple/yellow boys keep this “unity” play up, they’ll win the championship, and i’ll take a sabbatical from slamonline (the Lakerfan gloating would otherwise make my temporal lobe explode)

  • J Dizzle

    I get a kick out of it when people hate on Kobe. And I love to see him go and dominate in Denver, where the fans despise him. It was priceless to see him sit down at the end of game 6, all those poor Nuggets fans lol. Lakers win the finals in 5, against whoever they end up playing.

  • Jackie Moon

    Why doesn’t Kobe trust his teammates?

  • bill breedley

    kobe showed what sets him apart from the rest tonight. orchestrated a very precise game and delivered the killer stabs right on time. have yet to see anyone play a game like tonight since MJ. this was not a stat padding kind of effort but a ruthless step on their throats display. amazing!

  • http://Nicekicks.com MeloMan22

    i thought melos tat was pretty creative

  • chintao

    Just to fuel the consiracy theories a bit: the day after the Fakers were handed the series with Denver, the NBA store in Beijing had half of its floorspace devoted to Kobe. Hmmmm… I wonder how they knew? None of the other players in the Conference Finals were represented significantly. There was a Superman jersey in the window. There were a couple of LeBron t-shirts and a few jerseys. There was exactly ONE ‘Melo jersey. There was one, if you exclude his 2009 All-Star Jersey, that is — that’s right, in China, ‘Melo made the West All-Star squad. What’s more, they are charging USD100 for it. And the WTO accuses China of dumping? Pssssht.

  • http://slamonline.com Nw09

    Lmfao, people just can’t give Kobe his props, it just kills people inside. When he plays a almost dominantgame some people just have to go find something to pick apart about it. It’s so effin ridiculous on how subborn, envious and jealous the human being can be.Let it go,all of the old tired selfish, doesn’t trust his teammates b.s. le tit go! He gets bashed for things other players get praised for that shows you the bias and stubborness alot of people have with him because they just can’t stand him it’s pitiful.

    He’s back in the finals again by himself, deal with it!!Ha ha ha!!!