Jackson Wants Consistency from Lakers, Officials

The Lakers' effort, or energy, has been questioned often in this post-season after games like the one in Denver on Monday. Although they were able to keep it close at times, L.A. was largely blown out, thanks largely to the Nuggets crashing the boards and finishing the game with 20 offensive rebounds, and a plus-18 differential overall.

That kind of effort is not going to get it done in many games, especially late-round playoff contests on the road. But while Phil Jackson is seeking consistency from his team, he'd also like to see consistency from the referees -- particularly in the way that they call a game from the first quarter to the last.

"Tonight we didn’t know what a foul was and what wasn’t a foul out there,” Jackson said. “Start of the ball game, we got guys knocked around going to the basket and they said they were going to let these things go. By the end of the game, little fouls were being called all over the place.”

A lot of times in this series, it's been what the referees haven't called, as opposed to what they have. Take Dahntay Jones' intentional trip of Kobe Bryant, for instance, which wasn't even ruled a foul at the time, but might ultimately get Jones suspended for Game 5 once the league takes a closer look.

"There's another situation out there tonight that was unacceptable by [Denver guard] Dahntay Jones," Jackson said. "Just unacceptable defense, tripping guys and playing unsportsmanlike basketball."

Then there was Luke Walton going through the lane and taking an elbow to the neck from Nene -- which also wasn't called -- followed by his picking up a technical foul for complaining to the official about it. According to Jackson, that play led to Walton being called for a lot of fouls in a short period of time, which resulted in him fouling out of the game.

"The referee gave [Walton] a technical then subsequently gave him three consecutive fouls out on the floor," Jackson said. "That's not equal refereeing, and those are the things that change the course of games. We want the game to be fair and evenly played."

The officials were not the reason that the Lakers lost this game; they got killed on the boards and were thoroughly out-played by the Nuggets' bench. But Jackson has a point here: all both teams want is for the game to be called both ways, for 48 minutes. And that's something that clearly didn't happen in Game 4.

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