Controversy has begun swirl around the first-round playoff series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets as the two teams head towards a pivotal Game 6 in the Mile High City on Thursday night.
Apparently, the Lakers’ coaching staff is extremely upset that the Nuggets’ coaching staff may have illegally used a laptop in a huddle in the closing minutes of Game 5 on Tuesday. NBA rules prohibit using such a device during a game to get a competitive advantage over their opponent. If the league determines that the Nuggets did use a laptop in one of their huddles, a hefty fine will be on the horizon for Denver.
In response to these allegations from the Lakers, Nuggets Coach George Karl said the following via Christopher Dempsey of DenverPost.com:
“We have all of their end-of-game plays on a laptop,” Karl said. “Now, we didn’t use it last night. But you’re allowed to have a laptop, according to what our memo said. You’re allowed to bring scouting preparation information on a laptop.”
Coach Karl continued to refer to the NBA memo about the correct use of laptops on the bench:
“It can’t be of the game,” Karl said. “Now, the memo I read was, yes you can have it on the bench. We looked at the memo again this morning and it says just as long as you don’t have anything taken from during the game. And the only thing we have is their plays, end of game situations.”
The allegations of laptop use in the huddle make things that much more interesting heading into Game 6 at the Pepsi Center. With the Nuggets winning Game 5 despite the late-game surge by Kobe Bryant, this has officially become a series and a serious threat the Lakers advancing to the second round to face the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Whether or not the NBA chooses to look into the Nuggets allegedly breaking the rules in Game 5 remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that a microscope will be put on team huddles around the league throughout the rest of the NBA playoffs.