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Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 at 10:05 am  |  89 responses

LeBron James Disagrees With Foul Calls in Game 4


by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

With Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals hanging in the balance, LeBron James was whistled for his sixth foul and ejected. It was a borderline call, as the refs determined James set a moving pick on Lance Stephenson.

To no one’s surprise, LeBron strongly disagreed, and said if anything, it was Stephenson who committed a foul.

Per the AP:

“I didn’t believe it was an offensive foul,” he said about the last call. “I was going to set a screen, and I felt like I was stationary. … Lance (Stephenson, the Pacers’ guard) actually ran into me.” The call was made after James attempted to set a screen for teammate Dwyane Wayne at the top of the key then stuck out his left leg to make it tougher for Stephenson to get around him. For good measure, he also stepped on Stephenson’s foot. While you rarely see an illegal screen called late in a tight game, when Stephenson stumbled to regain his balance the officials were forced to sort out the damage.

James actually had a beef with three more of the six fouls he accumulated, and it wasn’t without some merit. One came with two seconds left in the third quarter, after he collected a loose ball close to Indiana’s basket, then swung both arms to protect it from David West and grazed the Pacers big man with his elbow. The contact in that instance seemed minimal. But when big bodies get bounced around, James knows it’s the refs who have to sort it out. “It was a couple of calls I didn’t feel were fouls, personal fouls on me,” he said, then tried to temper his complaints. “That’s how the game goes sometimes.”

This marked the second time in LeBron James’ career that he has fouled out of a Playoff game.

Regardless of where you stand on the LeBron ejection, Game 5 back in Miami promises to be officiated differently.

By gutting out a tough 99-92 win, the Indiana Pacers tied the series at two games apiece, but the story of Game 4 was the questionable work done by Joey Crawford and the rest of the officiating crew. That, you can be sure, is not what the NBA — or anyone else — had in mind.

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  • danpowers

    ““I didn’t believe it was an offensive foul,”” these kind of pics stay uncalled more often than they get called, but actually that was a moving screen and you cant spread your legs like that setting a pick. still, we normally see worse picks staying uncalled.
    id rather agree that the offensive foul against west wasnt really a foul. still funny to see how superstars react when they get officiated like “regular players”.

  • Mike Mihalow

    I just laughed when I read that title.

  • Max

    It was more like David West got a superstar call at the end of the 3rd.

  • Max

    Look at Paul George’s fauls and tell if there was a real one in those.

  • http://www.facebook.com/devin.williams1 Dev

    Joey Crawford just wants everyone to know his name in the morning and to extend this series a few more games #Rigged

  • Bandwagonfan

    Actually the refa make so many questionable calls for both team. Its just heat were more unfortunate. Joey crawford show baby

  • Max

    It’s not like it was bad officiating going just 1 way, there were bad call on both ends, the Pacers by playing better.

  • BeatTheFloppers

    uhh yes they DID..”THIS IS A FIXED ASSOCIATION OF OVERPAID BAD ACTORS”…thought you knew…

  • MikeG

    The team putting forth the most effort get the calls in their favor. That’s playoff basketball, LeBron knows this better than any player on that court…to his credit he is leading his team in reb’s (7) and that’s the problem. In the 4th quarter alone The Pacers had 16, as apposed to the Heats pathetic 4. Cats want to write it off as “David West getting superstar calls” well, look at his rebounding effort in this series… and Joey Crawford may be the most disliked ref in the L, but he’s also arguably the the most experienced and qualified ref in the L. Blaming him for the outcome, and the sway of the calls says more about you as a “fan” than it does him.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well you can spread your legs as wide as you want. you just can’t do it simultaneously while you are moving & actually setting the screen.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    So….last week the league was fixed so that the Heat would win. Now people think the league is fixed for the series to go longer. Or, the best i’ve seen so far, Stern wants another LeBron failure season while 2 small market teams meet in the finals, proving the lockout a success and his last year as commissioner as his best year.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    Any questions? ok, on to Game 5.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    This is Wade’s fault by the way…gotta wait for the screen, my possum-like brother..

  • socraticsilence

    Given that the Heat were essentially given a title by the Refs in 06, its always funny to hear them complain about calls- hell, didn’t Bron say before the game that flopping was an effective tactic and now he’s gonna whine? What are only superstars supposed to be allowed to flop?

  • bike

    Shades of frustration. Not good for the Heat. LeBron knows they up against a very legit opponent and if whining about a call to the media means catching a break over the next three games then so be it.

  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange’s question is “How in the world could The Kang foul out on an obvious moving screen like that?” Dude needs get focused. Another study session of “The Rules” should have him ready for next game.

  • danpowers

    sure but you cant spread your legs in a way that you get under the defender so that he trips over the leg. to me it looks like he did that.

  • Max

    The people who say such things are either stupid or not serious.

  • Max

    Joey Crawford made some pretty terrible calls last night.

  • Dfrance

    I can’t believe after the ratings debacle that was the Detroit/Spurs Finals, that anyone in their right mind would think that Stern would fix it to have two small market teams in the Finals.

  • 1982

    Whether or not it was a foul aside, that’s terrible D from Lance.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    WHAT? Explain what you mean? Because if he’s standing still and the player just runs into his legs that’s not his fault. what i just said to you covers whether the screen is legal or not in every way that is actually relevant. So idk if you are just rephrasing what i just told you, or making something up that you personally think is illegal?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    trust me. there are people out there who are convinced David Stern wants a small market team to win in his last year. Even if it’s the Spurs. Who we all know Stern f*cking hates.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh so none of those people can be drunk?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Do you have to update the rules everytime something new happens? like a video game update, the rules get updates everytime there is an issue, right?

  • danpowers

    to me it looks like when he came to set the pic that he didnt only move but that he also put one leg unter stephenson which made him trip a little bit. even if its not one’s own fault / illegal, i think whenever a defender trips over your leg you increase the risk of getting that moving screen call. excuse me if im wrong.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Nick Tha Quick

    Questionable, maybe. However, if Lebron is the offensive player in every single one of those plays, he gets the call and he would not disagree with getting that call. Personally, I think it was pretty ballsy of that ref to make that call when 99.9887% of the time, they would favor the star player with 5 fouls and not call it.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    putting his leg under stephenson is moving.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Nick Tha Quick

    Like do the splits?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    sure. hopefully someone tries that out.

  • Dfrance

    DFrance would like you to know that “The Rules” update themselves.

  • danpowers

    okidoki

  • Max

    They can, they fall into the not serious category.
    Maybe they don’t even know they said such things the next day.

  • danpowers

    joey crawford sometimes just seems to be too old to call nba games properly. i dont believe in these conspiracy theories about rigged series.

  • danpowers

    you forgot those who like to bring up the illuminati as well.

  • LakeShow

    Dick Bavetta at 143 was better than him.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    haha i know some pretty sincere drunks

  • ThaWindy

    The question is how many fouls will LBJ have in game 5? I’m guessing less than 6. And his fouls will not effect Spos rotation and will not effect his defensive prowess.

  • danpowers

    lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    just wanted to make sure we were talking about the same thing.

  • shockexchange

    C’mon guys. The fact that The Kang fouls out on a silly moving screen is clear evidence he’s lost his focus. “The Rules,” will bring him back into focus.

  • Moochie

    Your pick is as large as the cylinder around your shoulders

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    That doesn’t matter. That’s just what they teach you in High School. Here is the actual rule,

    .

    Illegal Screens/Picks: A screen or pick is when an offensive player gets to a legal position on the court in the path of a defender for the purpose of slowing down the defender or making him change direction. An illegal screen/pick is when the defender does not get into a legal position. When picking a stationary opponent from the backside, you must give that player a step to stop and /or change direction since he cannot see you. If the opponent is moving, you must get to your position and give him enough distance to stop and/or change direction. The speed of the player will determine the distance. You cannot just jump in front of a player at the last second.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    wasn’t terrible d…wade put a good move on him, Lance tried to play the screen, thats always tough….

  • spit hot fiyah

    how on earth did they miss the ball hitting the rim when they called he pacers for a 24 sec violation?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh so the rules are like the thing on a camera that help when it’s blurry? it exists, but nobody actually knows what it is?

  • AQWORD

    tru dat. but he did lean in too.

  • http://www.netstakeover.com/ JetSkiJohnson

    can you disagree ?

  • danpowers

    lol

  • Lloyd

    And the pick setter needs to do so with his torso. Doesn’t matter how wide your legs are, but if that’s what is contacting the player to make him change his progress, that’s an illegal screen. Shane Battier spreads his legs wide on every pick, but (usually) makes clean torso to torso contact so it’s legal.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    That is just false. I understand what your high school coaches tell you. Or college, or whatever. But the rules are different than a “proper screen”.

    .

    yes, fundamentally a screen should be torso to torso. But nowhere in the rules does it actually say that.

    .

    Here is the rule, as written in the rulebook.

    .
    Section III–By Screening 
    A player who sets a screen shall not (1) assume a position nearer than a nor-mal step from an opponent, if that opponent is stationary and unaware of the screen-er’s position, or (2) make illegal contact with an opponent when he assumes a posi-tion at the side or front of an opponent, or (3) assume a position so near to a moving opponent that illegal contact cannot be avoided by the opponent without changing direction or stopping, or (4) move laterally or toward an opponent being screened, after having assumed a legal position. The screener may move in the same direction and path of the opponent being screened. In (3) above, the speed of the opponent being screened will determine what the screener’s stationary position may be. This position will vary and may be one to two normal steps or strides from his opponent.

  • Lloyd

    Let’s just call it even for all the crap the refs either give the Heat or let them get away with. Regardless, Lebron and his boys are going to get every call in his favour after this speech in game 5. Looking forward to it…

  • Lloyd

    What’s “illegal contact” then? It’s leading to screen with your foot/legs. If the screener is setting one body to body and the defender tries to get around them and trips on their leg, that’s legal. You can’t set a screen with your leg though, as Lebron did here.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Of course you can’t lead with your legs. That’s called tripping. Lol. But you can be as wide as you want once you have established position. That’s the point. It’s no an illegal screen because of the width of his feet, it’s because he moved his hip and leg into position without giving the proper space to the defensive player.

  • Lloyd

    I think we’re saying the same thing then…If the pick is set so that the contact is set to be made torso to torso, it doesn’t matter how wide his legs are. If the defender tries to get around him and trips, that’s on them. But “established position” can’t be me standing stationary a step away from you with my leg being the part of my body that’s blocking you initially. That has to be body.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    It’s on the defensive player to avoid the offensive players leg if he’s setting a legal screen.
    .
    First of all, some guys naturally take a very wide base. Or some guys really need to. Take John Stockton. He used to be one of the meanest screens in the league. He would get extremely wide, and he would hit guys right in the tailbone….or he would trip them….well, then when he got older he would just barrel into people like a missile.
    Second – “the splits” for quick references sake, is just not a logical option. It completely makes the pick useless if the guy gets so wide it impairs his athletic ability. The other defensive player would just immediately double team. Or nudge the idiot over.

  • http://twitter.com/trueballer4lif1 Melvin flynt

    heat will win this series in 6..! and win the finals in 6.. wait and see heat haters!

  • http://twitter.com/trueballer4lif1 Melvin flynt

    you haters think there just gonna hand the chip over to Miami..?, there gonna earn it like they did last year!..

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Kudos on the John Stockton reference.

    I think it was Dennis Rodman that said that running into a John Stockton screen was like running into a fire hydrant crotch first.

  • Lloyd

    Right.

    Having a wide base is definitely legal, but the “illegal position” refers to guys who aren’t squared up to take the contact in the chest when they’re setting a screen. If they’re not, that’s not legal. If they’re set to take the hit to the body with their legs wide, the defender sees them and tries to fight over it, if they’re tripped up that’s their own fault.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    NO. It has nothing to do with your chest. You can set a pick with your ass, with the side of your body, with your nutsack, it doesn’t matter. Just watch David West tomorrow. Maybe 30% of his screens he isn’t even facing the defender.

  • Lloyd

    I use “chest” because that’s the most common place to take the contact. “Torso” is more accurate to describe what I meant. As long as it’s not on the limbs (shoulders, arms, leg, hip, thighs, feet).

    Regardless, don’t wish to see David West setting a screen with his nutsack.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, contact with those other things are called incidental.
    .
    if i’m standing right next to the defender, if i’m standing nine feet off to the left at a 32 degree angle, it doesn’t matter.
    .
    “squared up” is a made up phrase in this context.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    lmao i never knew he said that.

  • The Seed

    Heat in 7 games if bron doesn’t choke, Pacers in 7 games if Bron, chokes. ALso the dude gets one foul called on him a game. He went like 4 games without a foul, he cannot be talking about fouls. He is the And 1 specialist, lower head run into someone, then create contact, get And 1. WOW

  • Interrobang

    If I was a ref, his comments regarding flopping would make me want to call Lebron for everything for the rest of this series.

  • TR

    Every pick seems like its a moving screen to me these days. I thought this was a whack call in this game. I thought the game was poorly officiated both ways though.

  • Jerome

    The fact that the NBA is reviewing calls and not fining LeBron tells me all I need to know about how this series will end. Lance dominated LeBron and we shall see how much the L responds from here. Let me be the first to congratulate the Heat on their stunning come from behind victories over the Pacers and Spurs. All hail.

  • pposse

    okay sooo…does anyone want to talk about how this is now a series and talk about the actual game yesterday night?! The Pacers re-established Hibbert, and Lebron shot a below average (horrid by his own standards) 8/18 from the field. 4 of his makes were 3 pters too. Did Lebron get overconfident with his post game after game 3, he needs to really work on his footwork in the low post, he gets the open looks off his intelligence but throws up some weak shots at the rim and when he does that he does it in bunches.

    The Heat might be in serious trouble here, if they lose game 5, the Heat will panic. If game 5 is a blowout in favor of the Heat they will keep their cool, but damn this is turning out to be quite the series. its actually quite nice to finally see a crucial game 5 played, can’t even remember the last time one was played this yr in the playoffs. Oh yeah Spurs vs Warriors (i think) and Clips vs Griz

  • pposse

    in all objectivity both Wade and Lebron deserved atleast one fine a piece for some of their antics this post season. Wade deserves more than one

  • KBM

    The difference between a Heat/Spurs and a Pacers/Spurs final is an enormous amount of money, for a lot of people. Nobody is watching Spurs/Pacers, nobody.

    To think the Heat will get no advantange from the refs, subtle or not, as the series goes on, is pretty naive. In the end money makes the world go round and the NBA powers that be are not going to concede millions just for the integrity of the game.

    Refs have gone to federal prison for tampering, so it does happen.

  • KBM

    Bingo was his name O

  • Noompsi

    Refs gone to prison…?? really??? I’m gonna Google that. I didn’t know that. Was that the Lak/Sac series?? Cos that’s the first time I thought the refs for sure where guilty. That’s why I hate LAL (one of the reasons).
    Joey C is too old. Retire mate and let ex-players ref. Just like they make the best coaches (nee Doc rivers) they would make better reffing calls.

  • robb

    With your nutsack? lol, there’s only one guy who can do that and that’s Marco Belinelli.

  • Roger Rogers

    nbk, if the rules are broken and nobody is there to see it…is it really broken?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    If it’s a flagrant foul yes. Otherwise, nope.
    .
    Wait you didn’t want a real answer?

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez

    ouch lol

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    don’t quote me on that though… I don’t really remember the details.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    It did have to do with that series, I think, but not just that series. The ref was Tim Donaghy (sp?), who also tampered with the Suns/Spurs series.

  • danpowers

    i think it is a big difference weather a ref does time for placing his own bets or following orders by the league office.

    i dont think that they actually go into games thinking “today the heat have to win this game”. refs naturally favor big names/ extraordinary individually skilled players. thats not even the nba, even in amateur leagues where nobody gets paid refs favor the better players. big market teams naturally tend to have more of this kind of players so i assume it often appears to fans of small market teams that a series got rigged. i might be wrong and i dont have insider knowledge about the nba and their officiating policy, but this explanation looks more probable to me.

    i assume that if one day it came out that the league actually rigs games by clear noncontentious evidence, they’d risk losing more fans and so money than they would lose if they a finals series happened to be between two small market teams.

    i have to admit tho, that the lakers-kings and lakers-jailblazers series back then really looked rigged to me. i couldnt argue against anyone saying that those ones were rigged lol

  • Noompsi

    @Nbk. What do u think about 7/8 people on NBA.COM saying SAS are gonna win it all?? I don’t know about u, and I’ve been wrong before, but I don’t see SAS beating Miami 4 times…

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Erik Spoelstra Says the Miami Heat Lost Game 4 Due to ‘Karma’

  • Jermaine Propaine

    LMAO!!!!!!!!!

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » NBA Reportedly Reviewing Calls from Game 4 of ECF

  • Clos1881

    Lol great camera work

  • roscoe

    nbk, if the polar bears like it warm… is global warming going to impact the rules?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Depends on its affects on gravity. May have to raise the rims. ;)

  • roscoe

    MIA is vulnerable inside.

    they will lose in the finals.

    PRINT IT

  • pposse

    i agree they are vulnerable inside, but SA’s bigs are not better than Hibbert at this stage imo. The Spurs do play better all around basketball though. It just seems that every time Tim Duncan touches the ball, in the low post and makes a move he falls on his a$$ if he makes or misses the shot. Like his jump hook, effective yet, but for some reason it looks like he tries to avoid contact at all times so when he shoots the jump hook he’s all off balance and ends up falling down after the shot gets put up. I Tim Duncan can maintain his balance then yeah i agree Miami will get exposed. I’m just not completely sold that SA can do it to them though.

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