- Dave McMenamin, ESPN.com
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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers have sent in tape from their 96-94 Game 1 loss to the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA's league office, protesting that they should have been allowed to make a substitution late in the game.
Dallas called timeout with 20.3 seconds left, trailing 94-93 and the Lakers subbed in Andrew Bynum for Lamar Odom. The Mavericks followed by going small, putting in Peja Stojakovic for Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea for Shawn Marion. Lakers coach Phil Jackson tried to change his substitution and put Steve Blake, instead of Bynum, in for Odom to match the Mavs' quickness and was told he was not allowed to.
"The decision at the end of the game where we couldn't put a substitute in, I think was misplaced," Jackson said after Tuesday's practice. "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."
Jackson placed Bynum on Jason Kidd, the man inbounding the ball, and Jackson believes Bynum may have tipped Kidd's pass which led to Pau Gasol trying to go for a steal and in the process fouling Dirk Nowitzki. After the foul, Nowitzki hit two go-ahead free throws with 19.5 seconds to go to give Dallas a lead it would never relinquish.
"Right now we're trying to get ruling from the league on that because I think they misplayed that one," Jackson said.
League spokesman Tim Frank clarified Tuesday night that Bynum had to remain in the game after checking in for Odom, per NBA rules, and the Lakers' protest is without merit.
Jackson, who has been charged for $245,000 worth of fines from the league for five separate sets of comments made since May of 2009, did not make public any other complaints he may have had regarding the officiating in Game 1. Included in those fines was a $75,000 fine levied on Jackson and an additional $75,000 fine to the Lakers last month for a statement the coach made acknowledging that a potential lockout has affected his decision to retire after this season.
"If there was something that was egregious and I felt like Kidd was laying all over top of Kobe [Bryant] and all that kind of stuff, coaches do that, try and gain that kind of thing. I don't see it," Jackson said. "I don't see anything happening in that ballgame that has to be brought to the attention [of the press] and that's not how they want us to do it anymore. They want us to send in tape and incidents to show that."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
2hMichael C. Wright