Nuggets follow in Lakers’ footsteps by sending ref complaints to NBA
After the Los Angeles Lakers went to the NBA about LeBron James’ lack of free-throw attempts in the Western Conference Finals, now it’s the Denver Nuggets’ turn. Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said that the team sent videos to the league of plays where they believe there were missed calls by the officials.
“We’ve sent in some of the clips that we felt were missed last night, and we’ll leave it at that and wait on the NBA’s response. The rebounding has nothing to do with that…we didn’t lose the game last night because of anybody except ourselves.”
This comes after Denver’s 114-108 loss to the Lakers in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, which gave Los Angeles a 3-1 series lead. Malone didn’t specify the plays sent to the league, only saying they were still waiting for the NBA’s response.
The Lakers earlier made a case to the league that James was not getting enough free throws despite driving aggressively to the basket. James had just 10 attempts combined after the first three games of the series. Game 4, however, was a different story.
The four-time MVP had 14 free-throw attempts, making 11, while fellow All Star Anthony Davis also had 14 attempts, with 13 makes. Denver’s Jamal Murray, on the other hand, had eight attempts from the line, making all of them. Nikola Jokic, who battled foul trouble, was limited to just two free throws. The Lakers as a team shot 35 freebies, making 28, while the Nuggets shot 23, making 20. In the game, Denver was whistled for 28 fouls to the Lakers’ 25.
The Denver Post’s Mike Singer did clarify that the Lakers’ move to submit plays for the league to review is commonplace, and that the Nuggets used the same channels to air their concern after Game 4:
To clarify a misconception: What the Lakers did, in submitting plays for the NBA to review, is commonplace. Every team does it. There was no extra letter or gripe that was submitted. Malone said today the Nuggets used the exact same channels after last night's game.
— Mike Singer (@msinger) September 25, 2020
Malone also acknowledged the Lakers’ superior rebounding numbers to the Nuggets in Game 4, with Los Angeles finishing with 41 rebounds to Denver’s 33. This includes a 12-6 edge on the offensive glass for the Lakers, giving them a huge 25-6 advantage in second chance points.
It will be interesting how this affects the officiating for the rest of the series, starting in Game 5 on Saturday.