The Denver Nuggets didn't exactly start the 2012 NBA playoffs as they would've liked to, and plenty of their early failures had to do with the quality play of Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum in Game 1 of their first-round series. However, Nuggets head coach George Karl thinks Bynum's 10-point, 13-rebound and 10-block triple-double wouldn't of happened if the referees had enforced the legal defense rule more consistently. After Game 1, Karl told Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post that Bynum "was playing nice illegal defense" and that when the Lakers' big man zoned up in the paint, the refs missed plenty of potential illegal defense violations.
In fact, Karl put some pressure on the officials for Game 2 by estimating there were "about 30" illegal defense violations despite the fact that the Nuggets only received one such call in Game 1. Along the same lines, Nuggets rookie Kenneth Faried spoke with Aaron J. Lopez of Nuggets.com about Game 2 and noted that Bynum got his blocks because he gets in the paint and "posts there like a tree," so Denver's bigs need to move outside of the paint he Bynum has to "move with us and stay connected."
If you need something subtle to watch for in Game 2, try to stay focused on how well the big men for the Nuggets draw Bynum away from the paint, and whether the officials enforce the illegal defense rule more strictly.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more on these teams, visit Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs and Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll. Head over to SB Nation NBA for more news and notes on the 2012 NBA Playoffs.