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Phil Jackson has mixed assessment on Lakers' high number of technical fouls

Practice sessions for Lakers Coach Phil Jackson go beyond implementing X's and O's, such as installing a new defensive scheme that emphasizes closing out on shooters. Practice sessions for Jackson go beyond deciding how much rest he should grant his veteran players, such as Lakers guard Kobe Bryant as he monitors his surgically repaired right knee. And practice sessions for Jackson go beyond preparing for the next opponent, such as the Lakers' (27-11) game Tuesday at Staples Center against the Cleveland Cavaliers (8-29).

It entails constant discussion about playing through officiating and includes knowing the roles, recognizing how a game is going to be called on a particular night and how to adjust to those situations. Of course, the backdrop to this discussion entails minimizing the demonstrative and overt reactions NBA referees have scrutinized more this season, a problem that's plagued the Lakers as they've compiled 15 technicals in the last 10 games.

"The [video] edit that we got from the league shows everything from genuflecting to referees and walking away and then praying before he blows the whistle," Jackson said of the NBA's instructional video the Lakers received before the season explaining the new rule. "That's probably the best thing you can do."

Jackson's messages serve two purposes. He puts his dig into the NBA's "Respect for the Game" rule, which Jackson believes is a "code word" for not "disrespecting the officials." He also offers advice to his team on how to limit the technicals, which has included ejections to Kobe Bryant (Dec. 21 against the Milwaukee Bucks), Matt Barnes (Dec. 29 against New Orleans) and Andrew Bynum (Jan 9 against New York).

"I don't give it much thought," said Bryant, whose seven technical fouls this season rank highest among the Lakers and third-highest in the NBA.

That's exactly Jackson's point, hoping his players take a more cognizant effort to avoid those calls moving forward. Bryant may insist he "can afford it," in reference to compiling the first five technicals that result in a $2,000 fine, the next five that draw a $3,000 penalty, the 11th-15th that result in $4,000 fines and the 16th, which sparks a $5,000 fine and a one-game suspension, with one-game suspensions for every other one after that. Jackson acknowledged those calls eventually could cost the Lakers games or lead to, in his eyes, more unfavorable officiating in the future.

"They should walk away from a call," he said. "They can express themselves. But there are requirements." Jackson's criteria has varied depending on the player. On Artest's clothesline on Amare Stoudemire and choke hold on Shawne Williams during the Lakers' 109-87 victory Sunday over the New York Knicks: "That one was pretty point-blank. He has to eliminate that." On Bryant's six technicals and one ejection: "He has to be able to handle that." And on Bynum's ejection against New York after briefly making contact with referee Leon Wood while arguing his clean block against Stoudemire: "Drew is usually a pretty mild-mannered kid so that was unusual for him. So I think that was a situation that exasperated itself as a call went on. The first one was okay. The second one was not."

Fortunately for the Lakers, the NBA agreed with Jackson's assessment, rescinding Bynum's second technical and sparing him the $2,000 that comes along with that. Just don't assume Jackson lobbied to the league on behalf of Bynum.

"I dont talk to Leon Wood," Jackson said. "I don't associate with trying to mollify, justify or hear that stuff. It doesn't make any sense. They made the call. Nothing is going to change.

"I think it's about the tenor of the game," he continued. "If the game gets heated, physical and contentious and the energy rises, their job is to control a game and then they become wary of controlling it. That's the tactic they can use to do that."

And the tactic the Lakers can use to combat that, argues Jackson, involves accepting calls as just another obstacle that they have to overcome.

Said Jackson: "Guys have to hold to that and they have to contain [themselves]."

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
Comments () | Archives (41)

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No worries about Kobe getting up to 16 T's for a one game suspension. Just like in previous seasons, he'll contain himself once he approaches the suspension level.

@Justa Laker Fan - Very funny about Trolls being like flies at a picnic. I miss your musical selections. What's up with that?


@GDub – Thanks for a little Genesis for us Snowbound folks. Although we haven't got hit like the DC area. And of course, it always good to hear Steel Pulse.

PJ is right, as usual. Players need to get past the officiating and find a way to get the job done. But, when there is obvious contact that causes a player to miss his shot or lose the ball, it's pretty hard not to allow frustration to build. Non-calls have just as much effect on games as do calls. Phil has to take the high road, of course. But NBA officiating is uneven at best, and suspect at worst. I understand it's a very difficult job. But when referees don't call obvious fouls and violations, their competence comes into question. It's hard for the players and fans to "respect" that.

Are all of us clear that Darth Stern is the Devil... or at least a diminutive, corpulent servent of the Dark One?

As long as we're all clear on that, we're cool.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever

GO LAKERS!!!

Okay... I'm dubbing this "The Lakeraholic Project" or to those in the know "Le Projique de Lakeraholique."

Best Iconic Lakeraholic Phrase:

1. "THIS IS BASKETBALL!!!!" (Kobe screaming at Sasha on the bench.)
2. "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!? ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!" (Bynum pleading with an official after a false call.)
3. "I'm befuddled. I'm very befuddled." (Phil Jackson talking to the press after being befuddled.)

After that, well... that's all I've got. It's late.

Let's pick this up tomorrow.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K --- ACKNOWLEDGE ME PLEASE!!!!! (Ron Artest game Game 7 of 2010 Finals)

Mark,

YES!!! YES!!!! ABSOLUTELY YES!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Actually, I think that Phil is taking it too casually with the team's (and particularly, Kobe's) technicals and their reactions to these calls. And the consequences are pretty significant. In my opinion, the reason they don't get the calls in so many obvious situations (to us and to the slo-mo replay camera) is because the refs have in their minds that the Lakers in general and Kobe in particular "beg the call" on almost every contact, and then complain on every non-call.

Kobe is by far the worst offender (in the refs eyes), with Pau a close second. If you DVR the games, just watch and listen to the playbacks. Pau yells out on every single move to the basket where there is any contact at all. And Kobe not only yells out, he also dramatically flails every single time, and worse, he stops and gives the refs the stink eye (while our opponents are running upcourt for an easy basket). THAT is "begging the call", and it's precisely what ticks off the refs and gets them resistant to giving the call to us.

It's a big deal now. In a big game that goes down to the wire, we're not getting half the calls we should be getting. As a result, we may lose some crucial games down the stretch that could determine HCA.

Phil needs to address this more seriously with the team, and Kobe needs to stop whining and flailing.

CornerJ: Right on! Good analysis.


But also, Phil's lack of emotion in discussing obvious bad calls with refs is different from every other coach in the NBA. I believe that the refs think that by him not raisng hell they get a pseudo ally in Phil and are more likely to garner less attention from bad calls against the Lake Show, and thus from the Angel of Stearn/Stu Jackson's review. IMHO anyway..........


Jon K,

Drew to Sasha: Give me the f**king ball!

CornerJ- So are you saying Kobe and Pau are FLOPPERS, and begging for calls are normal among star players that are SOFT? Are they just looking to get an edge because their SOFT and BEGGING is just part of their GAME?

I've haven't notice the KING and D.Wade Flopping and BEGGING the ref's for calls, I could be wrong.....but I don't think so.

G.Money,

Unfortunately for us and the rest of the NBA, Wade and LeQueen not only begging but also getting all calls. Just think go back in time to Miami 1st championship in 2006. Dallas could not touch Wade and he was shooting 20FTs or more per game.

Maybe Jackson himself should stick up for his players when they are getting hammered? Nah, his lazy boy is too comfortable.

It's hilarious and pathetic how some people call lebron james the "king". Lmao, exactly what is he the king of? Exactly. Ironically enough ... my very favorite song is Metallica's "Where's Your Crown King Nothing!"

Kobe and Pau DO get plenty of contact EVERY game. Opposing players target Kobe's hands and smack down on them with regularity. Every team and frontcourt in the league tries to be physical with Pau, because he has the reputation of being "soft". Players with less skills than Kobe and Pau try to rough them up to level the playing field. 90% of the time when Kobe and Pau are yelling, they ARE being fouled.

In Kobe's defense, he's gone through an entire career as one of the greatest basketball players of all-time and has not received superstar treatment from the referees. The refs have always let players hack away at him at will like they did with Shaq. They treat him like a big when he posts up. They still allow hand checking against him from time to time when he's on the perimeter. His career average should be 2-4 points higher because of this utter bias and Michael Jordan's should arguably be lower with the God-like treatment that David Stern bestowed upon him. Someday watch some obsessive fan break down tape of all their games and prove this. So Kobe's frustration, which has mounted over 15 seasons, is understandable. He'll harness it when he needs to.

@MVP - Kobe did receive star treatment earlier in his career. The non calls and lack of "respect" really started after the Colorado incident. At Kobe's peak he was still able to dominate despite the refs. However, now its becoming more of a challenge as his athletic ability diminshes.


Like Corner J suggested it would be wise for Kobe to curtail some of the complaints because it does not change the way he's officiated. But we know Kobe is as stubborn as the refs, and just like them, he's not going to change.

@G. Money - You can't compare Lebron and DWade with Kobe. They've always received a "superstar" whistle...and still whine as much as anyone...especially Wade.

@Pysched Laker Girl - Excellent point yesterday on Bynum's "buy in" on the defensive end. I agree 100%.


@Zaira - Good to see your post yesterday. Don't stay away so long, win or lose your viewpoint is always appreciated. BTW, I couldn't view your musical link yesterday. Vevo said it was restricted in our country.

Adjustments are necessary because the rules have changed. We must play by the rules. Those were some smart remarks by PJackson. A smart player will make the adjustments, it appears that the ref's are allowing more contact this year. So Kobe and Gasoft have to be more physical in the paint if that possible. It is the year of the Heat they may receive more calls this year and in the coming years as well. So our nature so be physical with all the big men we have. So get physical use what you got so there will be no answer in stopping us. In other word's play big, play inside the paint boy's the jump shots will be easier.

1-2-3-T

Refs need to give the players a 3-count to vent before applying the technical. Going from previous years ambiguous rule to this years hair-trigger is hurting the game.

That being said, PJ is correct, just make the adjustment, your job requires it.

GO LAKERS ! ! ! ! !

"I've haven't notice the KING and D.Wade Flopping and BEGGING the ref's for calls, I could be wrong.....but I don't think so.
Posted by: G.Money | January 11, 2011 at 06:08 AM"

You're absolutely right, my friend...but not for the reason you think. The reason your boys aren't flopping and BEGGING for the calls is because (a) they're barely even being touched, and (b) your boys know that they weren't even fouled so they are beside themselves in grateful joy at the gift free throws. My only surprise is that they can even shoot those free throws without falling down laughing at their good fortune

Until brother Mamba24 comes back with our game day Roll Call...This 3Peat Bus will have to do...

Anyone who wants to submit a game day prayer would be greatly appreciated...

If you want to board the bus, just leave me a post and I will add you on...please also include your designation or message after your handle...

*************************
LAKERS BLOG ROLL CALL
*************************

>++
|
===========================
[_|___|__|___|__|__|__|__|__|__\
|___ LAKERS 3PEAT BUS _\__\__
l__________________________--|
\_(O)-(O)____________(O)-(O)___/


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Hey Lewstrs can I have a seat aboard.

Way to carry the torch, LEW.


[dbdh]

@justanon - welcome aboard...look for Roll Call post 1 hour before tip off...

Any designation or phrase?

Thanx, LEWSTRS.....NICE!!!

*repost*

Once there was a man named Andrew...
Many here was convinced he was voodoo...

Some grit he showed in the finals last year...
Even with injury, he showed no fear...

Now surgery was done, recovery on track...
Now witness the kid, while wrecking havoc...

Our offense is nasty, he slams with a growl...
Our defense is smothering with him on the prowl..

The All Star Game is at Staples this trip...
If Andrew don't make it, What a big Rip!!!

The season is young, there is more to come...
The Lakers are gelling, come and have some...

To those who doubted him, I hope you see...
Premature were your words, that was our plea...

For there is no denying the future is bright...
For the man we now call Kid Bynumite...

LEWSTRS

Have a great day all...Last post of Roll Call 1 hour before tip off....

ANDREW BYNUM: THE BACKBONE OF THE TEAM
........................................................................................
Excellent comments from Kevin Ding about the Lakers “Redone Defense.” Here is excerpt:
........................................................................................
There was a lot more talk after Lakers practice about the retooled defense intended to make Bynum the backbone of the team.
...
Asked about the reason for changing the strategy, Jackson said: "It was the advent of Drew coming back."
...
Bryant talked about just what a substantial change it is to have Bynum staying near the lane to pick up and challenge all comers near the basket, leaving everyone else to do adjusted rotations.
...
"We never had a system (on defense)," Bryant said.
...
Bryant summed up the changes as "keep the ball in front of you." He said Bynum's influence is clear: "We have a shot blocker. He plugs that middle up."
....................................................................................
TOM

No one can replace the Banner Holder’s Game Day Prayer but I’ll substitute for this game:

Heavenly Father bless the two teams – Lakers and Cavaliers – as they compete today. Bless them with the ability to end the game being as healthy as they were when they started. Allow both teams to play to the best of their God given ability as a show of appreciation for the athletic gifts that you have given to each. Let not the game be decided by the evilness of wicked Darth Stern referees but rather be a true representation of skill. Let not The Los Angeles Lakers suffer from too much Pride but rather let them simply be what they are. The greatest franchise ever assembled upon the face of the earth with all the glory going to you Lord

Yes the Lakers play for the rings but they also play to show what is truly possible when one plays for the force of Light and not the force of darkness. You have blessed the Lakers to stay strong in spite of countless injuries and mishaps. We do not ask that you help the Lakers win we simply ask that a level playing field is manifested. That being said let the Lakers now go out and thank you for their God given
gifts the best way possible, by displaying every nuance and facet of their gifts. We don’t ask for Andrew to be Wilt but simply the best Andrew. We don’t ask that Fisher be Nash but simply .04 Fisher. And finally dear Lord we most sincerely don’t ask that you let Kobe be Michael Jordan. Simply let Kobe be what he is THE GREATEST BASKETBALL PLAYER ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
AMEN

"G.Money,

Unfortunately for us and the rest of the NBA, Wade and LeQueen not only begging but also getting all calls. Just think go back in time to Miami 1st championship in 2006. Dallas could not touch Wade and he was shooting 20FTs or more per game.

Posted by: LAL_Fan | January 11, 2011 at 06:26 AM "

You have to remember Kobe shot 25 free throws against that Dallas team in only 3 quarters lol. All of the elite players in the league get the benefit of the doubt on calls and Kobe is included in that.

After the Colorado incident, the respect from the refs went way down but in the last 3-4 years or so, he has been getting every call LeBron and Wade get. Look at those times where they show the replays and Stu and Joel laugh and say "hey I guess he got fouled in there somewhere, I'll take their word for it!" All of the stars get those phantom calls. He doesn't get every call he wants, and he makes that very clear, but no player does.

I think the biggest difference with Kobe is that he reacts demonstratively every single time he wants a call and doesn't get it. A lot of players in the league will go up, get hacked completely across the arms, and they'll just run back down court like it was a clean block.

The Celtics are the only team I would say complains more than the Lakers and ironically, they are two of the teams best known for getting the better end of the calls.

MORE ON THE LAKERS DEFENSIVE CHANGES
...................................................................................
From Andy Kamenetzky’s Land O’ Lakers Blog. Here is excerpt:
...................................................................................
Considerably more enthusiasm was offered by Kobe about the Lakers' improved play on the defensive end. As Kobe described it, Chuck Person's defensive background, combined with Phil's desire to continually "add things to the mix" was the impetus for an adjusted attack:
...
"We're figuring the defensive system before, and it's funny, because we never really had a system before. We've always read and reacted to each other. But I think putting in this system will help us down the road and help us get better. We're just learning it."
...
Kobe later described the new approach as equal parts "effort" and "organization":
...
"Make people take contested, tough shots. That's the key. Keep the ball in front of you. Make them take tough shots. Everybody has role and everybody has an assignment and it changes depending on what position you're in on the floor. It's no different than what you see other teams doing. A lot of teams have systems. They've been using it for a period of time. We're getting used to it. A lot of things that we're doing, we've done (instinctively) over the past couple of years, but now it's kind of putting assignments on things."
...
So were the recent defensive issues the result of confused or scattered minds? From Kobe's perspective, it's a little of both:
...
"As of late, it's all adjustments. That's all that is. As of late. Prior to that, it was lack of focus."
...
It's interesting to hear Kobe talk about the Lakers playing defense without a "system" previous to this season. I may recall incorrectly, but I'm pretty certain I've heard players (maybe even The Mamba himself) use that word while talking about their defense during the 2009 and 2010 title runs. And it's not like the last two seasons were spent running around like headless, ineffective chickens on D. The 2009 squad was solid defensively and last year's champs were better at preventing points than scoring them.
...
Maybe it's a matter of semantics, since accounts have varied as to how radical the redesign truly is. But either way, everyone involved appears very pleased by the game plan, which hopefully bodes well for the polished product.
...
I also loved Kobe's cheeky immediate reaction when asked if Bynum throwing down four or five times against the Knicks was a sign of coming around offensively:
...
"Because he had four dunks? He's seven foot twenty!"
............................................................
TOM

@LEWSTERS... Loved the Kid Bynumite poem. And the 3-peat bus. Keep it up, Lew. Thanks.
@JUSTANON... Thanks for the Game Day prayer. Much appreciated for the initiative. Amen.
@MAMBA24 ... We need you back, Larry. Reciprocate the love and show up tonight please.
@UTZ... And where are you, Chris. I don’t know what happened but we need and love you.
...............................................
TOM

Kevin Ding on Twitter: "Sports Illustrated poll of 157 NBA players on who will win title: Lakers (69%), Celtics (22), Heat (3), Magic (2), Spurs (1)."

Interesting.

all these comments about kobe crying for calls while others taking it like a clean block comments are complete bull. i dont understand how lebron AND wade both average 9 freethrows per game while kobe gets 7.4 per game. (and i checked and wade AVERAGED over 19 freethrows in the entire finals with the mavs in 2006... not just in 1 game). as far as i'm concerned, kobe doesnt get as much calls as he should, not because he is a star of this league, but because he actually gets fouled more times than not. just looking back at the knicks game, there must have been 5 shots in the key that he got hacked without a call. that is definitely frustrating for sure.

@MVP - Kobe did receive star treatment earlier in his career. The non calls and lack of "respect" really started after the Colorado incident. At Kobe's peak he was still able to dominate despite the refs. However, now its becoming more of a challenge as his athletic ability diminshes.

Posted by: LRob | January 11, 2011 at 07:51 AM
====

I respectfully disagree. I've watched almost every game for his entire career. As a young player, he had to earn that superstar status, but he had the impairment of being paired with the other best player in the NBA, and was universally considered smug, arrogant and petulant. After watching the Jordan rules, he never received anywhere near the treatment that MJ did. Ever.

Roll call ... checking in!!!

The hapless of the hapless arrive at Staples Center tonight. Just a season ago, we despised this team and now we feel sorry for them. They even lost Varajeo for the season and it looks like we lost dtime for the rest of his life. Maybe they'll get lucky and get the #1 pick.

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!!

"all these comments about kobe crying for calls while others taking it like a clean block comments are complete bull. i dont understand how lebron AND wade both average 9 freethrows per game while kobe gets 7.4 per game. (and i checked and wade AVERAGED over 19 freethrows in the entire finals with the mavs in 2006... not just in 1 game). as far as i'm concerned, kobe doesnt get as much calls as he should, not because he is a star of this league, but because he actually gets fouled more times than not. just looking back at the knicks game, there must have been 5 shots in the key that he got hacked without a call. that is definitely frustrating for sure.

Posted by: pomonasi | January 11, 2011 at 09:33 AM "

Both LeBron and Wade do a lot more driving and kicking than Kobe does. The reason Kobe shoots fewer free throws is because he uses his fadeaway a lot and that is a shot that avoids the defense and contact. I think he also takes more outside shots (15 feet+) than either James or Wade do but I could be wrong on that one.

I checked the stats and Wade shot 97 free throws in 6 games against Dallas. That's about 16 per game. A very high number, I agree, but I threw in Kobe's 25 free throws in 3 quarters as a symbol of their defensive strategy. They could not stop elite perimeter players which is why Kobe was able to put up 25 free throws and 62 points without even playing the 4th quarter against them.

I'm not denying that Kobe gets fouled at times and doesn't get the call, but that's life. If every player reacted the same way Kobe did, every single player would be screaming on every play. There's not a single possession where you couldn't call a legitimate foul on someone.

Best Iconic Lakeraholic Phrase:

1. "THIS IS BASKETBALL!!!!" (Kobe screaming at Sasha on the bench.)
2. "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!? ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!" (Bynum pleading with an official after a false call.)
3. "I'm befuddled. I'm very befuddled." (Phil Jackson talking to the press after being befuddled.)
4. ACKNOWLEDGE ME PLEASE!!!!! (Ron Artest game Game 7 of 2010 Finals)
5. Drew to Sasha: "Give me the f**king ball!"
6. "Sacramento will never be the capital of California! Los Angeles is the new capital of California!"--Shaq

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!



Anybody who says labrick doesn't cry for fouls isn't watching. Wade on the other hand just give them a look most of thime and doesn't cry as much. There's a certain segment of the NBA, fans included, who would jump off a mental bridge if Kobe were ever deemed better than Jordan....It's a pity because I believe Wilt and Russell were even better.

LEWSTRS: Thanks for the inclusion!

Well done.

CornerJ: "You're absolutely right, my friend...but not for the reason you think. The reason your boys aren't flopping and BEGGING for the calls is because (a) they're barely even being touched, and (b) your boys know that they weren't even fouled so they are beside themselves in grateful joy at the gift free throws. My only surprise is that they can even shoot those free throws without falling down laughing at their good fortune"

another great comment bro!


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