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"LeBron Was Fouled" article thread

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We've still got about 57 hours before Game 3 tips off, so I imagine there are going to be quite a few of these.

I'll start with this one.

Fine-worthy rebuke in order

By Chris Sheridan

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- I'm not going to kill Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown harder than anybody else in this column -- I'll save that honor for the referees -- for biting his tongue after the Eastern Conference finals Game 2 loss, 79-76, to the Detroit Pistons on Thursday, although I think he did his team a disservice by trying to take the high road by refraining from criticizing the officials in the interview room afterward.

"We're a no-excuse team," Brown said, a line that was echoed minutes later by LeBron James.

But make no mistake, the Cavs were absolutely livid at the lack of a call when James drove to the basket with eight seconds left and was hacked numerous times by Richard Hamilton, including a rake across his arm as he went for the shot everyone had been waiting three days to see if he would take.

I asked Hamilton in the locker room afterward if he had fouled James on the play, and Hamilton couldn't stifle a cackle before he gave his answer: "Nah, you know. I just put my hands up."

And let the record show that he cackled at the end of that answer, too.

The non-call was so egregious, I'd expect Jimmy Clark, Bernie Fryer and Mark Wunderlich to be told by the league office that they can watch the rest of the playoffs from Joey Crawford's man cave, since they don't deserve to be working at this stage of the postseason if they're too scared to call a foul on the biggest play of the game. But I'm not sure whether those three referees will be taking calls from the league office on Friday, since all three must be scheduled for surgery to have the whistles they swallowed removed from their stomachs.

You know, Brown could have come up with a line or two like that that would have cost him a fine but at least would have earned him the gratitude of the Cavs' fans, who will wake Friday morning feeling -- and feeling it rightfully, I might add -- that they were screwed.

If that had happened to someone on the Lakers, you can bet your bottom dollar Phil Jackson would have spoken frankly about it, then taken his $50,000 fine like a man.

Same would have happened with Pat Riley if that had happened to the Heat, and don't even get me started on what Mark Cuban would have done if the Dallas Mavericks had been on the receiving end of that non-call. His fine might have made it into seven figures.

But this is all Brown had to say:

"The officials get paid a lot of money, and that's their job. If they don't see anything, they don't see anything. We're a no-excuse team. We've got to get ready for Game 3."

I pressed Brown on the matter by telling him I wasn't looking for an excuse, just a description of how that final James possession looked from where he was standing.

"LeBron drove the ball. He shot it, he missed it. Larry [Hughes] got the rebound, he shot it, he missed it. Andy [Anderson Varejao] tipped it, they came up with the rebound and we fouled them," Brown said.

So why did you get so upset?

"Just emotions. Tough game."

Maybe Brown expressed everything he wanted when he drew a technical foul with one second left, walking on the court to complain. That move is going to merit an explanation Friday, because think about it, when's the last time you saw a coach take a tech in a one-point conference finals game with one second left?

I also asked James about the play in question and what he was shouting at the referees when play stopped.

"That's over and done with. Me and the ref had a good conversation, and I've moved on as a player."

Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here, but where the heck is the indignation? By my count Hamilton slapped James on the arms three or four times when he was making his drive to the hoop, and that's not even counting the contact he took on the shot. If you wanted to be totally technical, there were probably five different instances of contact on which fouls could have been called.

Compared to Dirk Nowitzki's touch foul against Dwyane Wade in Game 5 of the NBA Finals last year, this was an absolute mugging.

I can understand the Cavs not wanting to be seen as a team that complains about the referees publicly, but there's a way to get your point across without crossing the line.

What if Brown had said this: "I thought Hamilton fouled him three or four times, and I can't understand why the referees didn't call it, because I could see it plain as day from 50 feet away, and I only have two eyes. They have six. But what's done is done, and we're not going to blame the referees for this loss. We blame ourselves."

At least he would have been stating the obvious instead of acting like someone who feared the wrath of David Stern so much he was afraid to speak out.

And besides, complaining about a bad call or a non-call is not tantamount to making an excuse. They're two totally different things.

The Cavs had a right to be angry, and I felt Brown had an obligation to at least show a little emotion. If he wanted to go ballistic and spend $50,000 getting it off his chest, that would have been acceptable, too.

I just didn't like the whole specter of the Cavs slinking off into the night looking like they were almost afraid to stand up for themselves.

They got robbed, and either their coach or their superstar should have found a way to say so. Instead, they came off as being meek. And at this stage of the season, it is not time to be a pushover. It's time to stand up for yourself and state the truth, and if it costs you $50,000, so be it. At least the refs will hear your message, and the next time it happens you'll probably get the call.

It's called working the refs, and the best coaches do it when circumstances call for it. And on this night, Brown should have piped up more than he did.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dailydime-070525

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Awww, poor baby. Lebron elbows Webber in the face, and the refs swallow their whistles, but all anyone cares about is this play, where Lebron should've been called for the offensive foul, anyway.

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I've rewatched that play several times and there were literally a dozen no calls more egregious than that one. The refs seemed to have a no blood no foul mentality in the game and you can't expect to have the refs change how they've been calling a game and literally decide the outcome of a playoff game because of the contact on that play.

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Saying that Hamilton "raked across his arm" is ridiculous. The contact on the shot was initiated by LeBron as he drove to the basket. When a guy drives straight to the basked with a defender in front of him there is going to either be contact or crappy defense. Yes, a foul could have been called but it could go either way and in that situation (end of the game) I'm not surprised that there was no call.

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The only reason Cavs fans should be astonished at this is because of all the crappy calls LeBron DOES get.

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Saying that Hamilton "raked across his arm" is ridiculous. The contact on the shot was initiated by LeBron as he drove to the basket. When a guy drives straight to the basked with a defender in front of him there is going to either be contact or crappy defense. Yes, a foul could have been called but it could go either way and in that situation (end of the game) I'm not surprised that there was no call.

I think we need to step out of our Pistons shoes for a second. (BTW, according to an ESPN poll, Michigan was the only state in the US where the majority of voters thought that LeBron was not fouled, so rampant bias is to be expected on this board.)

After the initial contact, LeBron spun in the lane. At that moment, Rip made a clear downward motion with his arms, definitely making contact with LeBron's forearms. One might call it a "rake".

I think we are fooling ourselves if we think we wouldn't be moaning if the roles were reversed.

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I think we need to step out of our Pistons shoes for a second. (BTW, according to an ESPN poll, Michigan was the only state in the US where the majority of voters thought that LeBron was not fouled, so rampant bias is to be expected on this board.)

After the initial contact, LeBron spun in the lane. At that moment, Rip made a clear downward motion with his arms, definitely making contact with LeBron's forearms. One might call it a "rake".

I think we are fooling ourselves if we think we wouldn't be moaning if the roles were reversed.

I guess the TNT announcers also wear Pistons shoes? :confused: Point being, just because someone says a no call was the correct call on that play doesn't mean that they are biased toward the Pistons.

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Notorious nailed it. The refs had been letting them play the entire night. To change on the last play would have been unfair to both teams. I bet game #3 is called a little tighter though.

My favorite play, other than Sheed's incredible fade away, was the travel by Varajeo followed by the club to the face by Sheed. Looked like a flagrant foul but somehow ends up Pistons basketball.

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I think we need to step out of our Pistons shoes for a second. (BTW, according to an ESPN poll, Michigan was the only state in the US where the majority of voters thought that LeBron was not fouled, so rampant bias is to be expected on this board.)

After the initial contact, LeBron spun in the lane. At that moment, Rip made a clear downward motion with his arms, definitely making contact with LeBron's forearms. One might call it a "rake".

I think we are fooling ourselves if we think we wouldn't be moaning if the roles were reversed.

I havent seen the play yet.

I will let you know what I think when I see it on tape.

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There was contact, but he went into the lane looking for a foul. The contact was not enough to warrant a game deciding foul.

The fact remains that if LeBron played in the 2nd half, like he did in the first, it would be 1-1. I can't stand it when everyone blames the refs for 1 call. Fact is, they ended up getting 3 shots at the hoop on that play and it didn't go down. Sometimes you make shots to win, sometimes you don't.

Get over it ESPN and Cleveland.

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After the initial contact, LeBron spun in the lane. At that moment, Rip made a clear downward motion with his arms, definitely making contact with LeBron's forearms. One might call it a "rake".

Not sure if you are describing the same contact. The article described a rake across the arm "as he went for the shot" which I didn't see, I just saw Rip holding his arms up and LeBron jumping into them and shooting.

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Not sure if you are describing the same contact. The article described a rake across the arm "as he went for the shot" which I didn't see, I just saw Rip holding his arms up and LeBron jumping into them and shooting.

I think I am, although if memory serves, the contact was made while James was still on the floor, with both hands on the ball, about to jump for the shot.

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I don't see a problem with the no call. I watched it 4 or 5 times in regular motion. Lebron butted Hamilton back to the rim and missed the shot. If I had watched it in slow motion maybe then I would see a foul but I think the refs let the players (not the whistles) decide it as they should at games end. Cleveland is 0 for 2 in trying to win games cuz they missed end of game shots.

Rasheed made a sensational turnaround with 24 seconds left with a guy in his face. Lebron has to put the ball in the basket and his team would have the lead.

Even if James shot had gone in the Pistons would have 8 seconds to hit a winning shot so I see no big deal with the no call here.

By the way maybe this is why playoff experience is helpful to players. I don't remember the Pistons ever trying to collect a foul in a plyaoff game at the end (rarely in regular season ever either) but I can remember a ton of Chauncey Billups game winning baskets (or Rasheed last night or someone else)...the Pistons have found out refs will not give you the win on free throws in last second of games unless it is a blatant foul. Cleveland may have just figured that out.

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Who cares. It's not like Cleveland can make their free throws anyway. One call, in this game, isn't going to change the outcome. I'm so tired of people bowing over LJ. HE'S NOT MICHAEL JORDAN. Get over it, world.

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Rasheed made a sensational turnaround with 24 seconds left with a guy in his face.

That was a nasty shot. As soon as he hit it, I said, "No one but Sheed makes that shot." My friend (a Mavericks fan) said, "Dirk makes that shot." To which I replied, blankly, "No one but Sheed makes that shot." :classic:

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That was a nasty shot. As soon as he hit it, I said, "No one but Sheed makes that shot." My friend (a Mavericks fan) said, "Dirk makes that shot." To which I replied, blankly, "No one but Sheed makes that shot." :classic:

Ha! You should have said "Dirk in the regular season, yes. Dirk in the playoffs, no way."

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Who cares. It's not like Cleveland can make their free throws anyway. One call, in this game, isn't going to change the outcome. I'm so tired of people bowing over LJ. HE'S NOT MICHAEL JORDAN. Get over it, world.

Yet. People tend to forget that he is still very young and if you compare him to Jordan, then it has to be Jordan's NC/1st couple years. Comparing the 2007 LaBron to the 1996 Jordan is unfair. Now, 10 years from now.....

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Awww, poor baby. Lebron elbows Webber in the face, and the refs swallow their whistles, but all anyone cares about is this play, where Lebron should've been called for the offensive foul, anyway.

LeBron should be punished at least the same as Kobe was earlier in the ear, & his elbow action was much more egregious than Kobe's.

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You don't call the game differently in the last 30 seconds than you have called it the entire game. I mean what if I dug though the tape and found an obvious non-call against one of the Pistons in the first quarter?

I hate players playing to draw the foul - try and make the damn shot, and if you are fouled so be it - go to the line. Don't play to get fouled and then thorw up a circus shot...

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...After the initial contact, LeBron spun in the lane. At that moment, Rip made a clear downward motion with his arms, definitely making contact with LeBron's forearms. One might call it a "rake"...

If the refs weren't calling that earlier I can see this no-call.

But also... this could very well be a "Shaq no-call". Where everyone just bounces right off of Shaq as he goes to the basket. Should a foul be called on Shaq when a defender bounces off him? Should the foul be called on the defender for trying to hack at Shaq? Alot of times... hacking at Shaq is nothing but a mosquito bite that Shaq swats away as he dunks the ball. Shaq gets his 2 points and often, the refs decide to make NO call at all with the whistle because... Shaq didn't feel a thing on the way to his 2 points anyways. Doesn't matter if defenders are flying or hacking away... Impervious Shaq cannot be bothered by mosquitos.

This is what I thought when I saw Rip "rake" LeBron's forearm. Rip barely came across his arms, I don't think he was even trying to foul, he DID however come down across his arms.

But... I don't think LeBron felt a thing. Rip was sort of a mosquito on that play... I wonder if Bron will start getting some of those Shaq non-calls as he seems to physically outclass a large proportion of his defenders.

Just my 'pinion.

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Yet. People tend to forget that he is still very young and if you compare him to Jordan, then it has to be Jordan's NC/1st couple years. Comparing the 2007 LaBron to the 1996 Jordan is unfair. Now, 10 years from now.....

Right, I agree with you there. But like you said, he's still young. He's not there yet. Until that happens, people need to quit with all the comparisons because I don't see it. Sure he makes some pretty nice dunks, but I don't see the need for all the special treatment.

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If the refs weren't calling that earlier I can see this no-call.

But also... this could very well be a "Shaq no-call". Where everyone just bounces right off of Shaq as he goes to the basket. Should a foul be called on Shaq when a defender bounces off him? Should the foul be called on the defender for trying to hack at Shaq? Alot of times... hacking at Shaq is nothing but a mosquito bite that Shaq swats away as he dunks the ball. Shaq gets his 2 points and often, the refs decide to make NO call at all with the whistle because... Shaq didn't feel a thing on the way to his 2 points anyways. Doesn't matter if defenders are flying or hacking away... Impervious Shaq cannot be bothered by mosquitos.

Shaq gets it all back and then some by never getting called for the charge when he shoves a defender out of the way with his shoulder, though. Seriously, he get's more calls than non-calls by far.

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