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Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 at 11:25 am  |  69 responses

LeBron James Says Roy Hibbert Uses ‘Verticality Rule’ the Most in the NBA


The Miami Heat had a hard time finishing at the rim in their Tuesday night showdown with the Indiana Pacers, thanks in large part to Roy Hibbert. LeBron James thinks the big fella is allowed to use the “verticality rule” more than anyone else in the L. Per Bleacher Report: “We look at film,’ Hibbert said. ‘You don’t disrespect anyone else, but they just get way too many easy drives to the basket, way too many dunks. Obviously, Birdman kind of dunked on me tonight, which is not something I like, but it happens. But we try to plug the lane as much as possible… Once we got our principles down in the second, we were trying to give them nothing in the paint.’ And when the Heat got there, they found the 7-foot-2 center on the back line. On those occasions that LeBron James didn’t shy away from Hibbert, some of his shortest shots came up shy, or long, or left, or right. James missed 4-of-8 shots at the rim, while settling for several standstill jumpers, and finishing an uncharacteristic 6-of-16 overall. ‘He takes a lot of teams out of what they are accustomed to doing, because he is so great at the rim, protecting the rim, and they allow him to use his verticality rule more than anyone in our league,’ James said. That last part speaks, passive-aggressively, to the Heat’s foremost frustration when facing the Pacers, but there seems little chance that it changes. So Miami must keep pushing, and maybe even tweaking, in order to impose its advantages, rather than be immobilized by Indiana’s mountain. The Heat didn’t adjust appropriately Tuesday but, once it was over, they didn’t seem too bothered. James surmised that ‘we brought it tonight, and they just made more shots,’ and even went so far as to say the Heat ‘played a great game.’ … ‘We’re not the team that we want to be in April right now, and that’s OK,’ James said. Shortly after, he added that, ‘It’s a long season. You don’t hold your head low after one loss.’ That season includes three more meetings between the team, the next coming next Wednesday in Miami.”

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  • BenJW

    So wait, the refs “allow” Roy Hibbert to play perfect and legal defense? And what exactly is stopping everyone else from doing it?

  • underdog

    Apparently their height.

  • bike

    So, WTF is the ‘Verticality Rule’ again?

  • http://signup.divinerenergy.com/ Anthony Dixon

    Keeping your arms straight up during contact(on the defensive side). Fouls won’t get called

  • http://signup.divinerenergy.com/ Anthony Dixon

    Discipline

  • Steven KC

    Is LeBron seriously crying about not getting calls against Roy’s legal defense?

  • TR

    I feel LeBron on this one and I’m not even a Heat fan

  • TR

    I feel LeBron on this one and I’m not even a Heat fan

  • Maggle

    No… It’s that a foul wont get called on the defense despite contact, if the defender gets to the spot first and jumps STRAIGHT up AND his arms straight up. If his body is not jumping straight upwards, and moving even slightly towards the offensive player, a defensive foul CAN be called depending on other details.

  • Maggle

    No… It’s that a foul wont get called on the defense despite contact, if the defender gets to the spot first and jumps STRAIGHT up AND his arms straight up. If his body is not jumping straight upwards, and moving even slightly towards the offensive player, a defensive foul CAN be called depending on other details.

  • Dfrance

    LeBron said “he gets to use his verticality rule” like its some sort of super power. Lol Shuddup King.

  • Dfrance

    LeBron said “he gets to use his verticality rule” like its some sort of super power. Lol Shuddup King.

  • Dfrance

    Cowardice.

  • Dfrance

    Cowardice.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i think he’s more complaining about the inconsistency in how games are officiated.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i think he’s more complaining about the inconsistency in how games are officiated.

  • Stats Lie

    NBK I have read threads from you for the past year now and you are probably one of the best analyzers/commentors on the site. But this comment shows what a LebronStan you are. I totally agree he’s the best in the game but it is clear he is angling for calls on this one. Stick to supporting your arguments with stats instead of putting words in the kangs mouth. Hibbert plays the best big man D in the league against the Kang.

  • Stats Lie

    NBK I have read threads from you for the past year now and you are probably one of the best analyzers/commentors on the site. But this comment shows what a LebronStan you are. I totally agree he’s the best in the game but it is clear he is angling for calls on this one. Stick to supporting your arguments with stats instead of putting words in the kangs mouth. Hibbert plays the best big man D in the league against the Kang.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    lbj needs to get that cavs explosiveness back

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    lbj needs to get that cavs explosiveness back

  • RKJ92

    That Cav’s explosiveness was gone the second he went up to 260-270lb you can’t have that much weight, and the vertical LeBron had. The weight gain was needed much more anyways without it he wouldn’t be as effective in shooting as he is now, Roy Hibbert just had a great defensive game, it happens!

  • RKJ92

    That Cav’s explosiveness was gone the second he went up to 260-270lb you can’t have that much weight, and the vertical LeBron had. The weight gain was needed much more anyways without it he wouldn’t be as effective in shooting as he is now, Roy Hibbert just had a great defensive game, it happens!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    uhm…..i am not defending LeBron you realize that right? and I’m not criticizing anyone but the officiating…..as, many other players are unfairly called for fouls, that Hibbert is fairly not.
    .
    this literally has nothing to do with LeBron, just my perspective on how officiating shakes out.
    .
    but thanks for your opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    uhm…..i am not defending LeBron you realize that right? and I’m not criticizing anyone but the officiating…..as, many other players are unfairly called for fouls, that Hibbert is fairly not.
    .
    this literally has nothing to do with LeBron, just my perspective on how officiating shakes out.
    .
    but thanks for your opinion.

  • http://signup.divinerenergy.com/ Anthony Dixon

    pretty much what i said lol

  • http://signup.divinerenergy.com/ Anthony Dixon

    pretty much what i said lol

  • Jimmy

    I don’t get how its bad to use this to your advantage

  • Feez_22

    It’s time for lebron to bring back that floater shot he used a couple playoffs ago to combat hibbert again… it’s the only way.

    Hibbert plays great straight up defense so pointing out that he gets the most verticality rule leeway in the nba (which lebron essentially said) won’t do anything to make finishing over him any easier. It won’t sway refs or the league because what hibbert is doing is totally legal so… no need to “point it out”.

    On another note, the pacers need a point guard. They won’t win a championship without one. Even if they get past the heat, the west winner will beat them (as presently constituted). I’ve seen most of the teams in the nba play and the pacers are by far the most sloppy. Their offense isn’t fluid and when hibbert plays players his size, he doesn’t do well (look at his season averages). Granger needs to be flipped for a pg. Vasquez would have been a nice option tbh but now he’s in toronto.

    I’m just saying… most good teams in the west has a big center. clippers, houston, portland, spurs, thunder (w/ adams), golden state… The pacers won’t beat any of these teams in the finals without a point guard.

  • Stats Lie

    You said ‘I think he’s more complaining about inconsistency of calls’. He clearly is angling for calls down the road. To me that is defending Lebrons statement by putting words in his mouth. If you think Hibbert is gettting the calls just say so. Lebron in my opinion is wrong on this one. Hibbert plays within the rules and for the most part the calls have been justified. Not saying every call is right but he plays within the rules and the refs can see that.

  • Maggle

    Just explaining what the rule is.. I agree it is good defense, especially when you’re 7’2″

  • Maggle

    I’m sure you knew what it was.. But you weren’t being specific to the guy who didnt know. According to you, he might think your BODY doesn’t need to go straight up as well… Only your arms, even if your body if flying towards the offensive player

  • http://signup.divinerenergy.com/ Anthony Dixon

    true

  • Maggle

    Realistically, he lost his explosiveness from being in the NBA for 10 years and getting up there in age. People do slow down at 29, (30 this month).

    He is not 260-270 lol. Stop believing all those sports writers/analysts who exaggerate to make their points more fascinating. “Lebron is 6’9″/270″ “Barkley was 6’4″” “Iverson was 5’10, 160lb soaking wet” …

    Lebron is 6’8″, 250. At the same height, does he look like he has nearly 20 lbs on paul millsap?

  • LakeShow

    “and they allow him to use his verticality rule more than anyone in our league”

    Yeah LeBron, they grant him the special privilege of following the rules…

  • LakeShow

    LOL, gotta love these kids and their “260-270″ talk…

    Hilarious.

  • LakeShow

    Yes.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “He takes a lot of teams out of what they are accustomed to doing, because he is so great at the rim, protecting the rim”

    i’m not putting words in anyone’s mouth. It comes off like he is literally just saying Hibbert is officiated differently. Hibbert is great at protecting the rim, he’s probably the best in the league at jumping vertically. And is officiated accordingly. There are other guys in the league like Amir Johnson for example, who do a great job of jumping vertically, but are called for fouls a little more often.
    .
    Regardless……You assuming he’s angling for foul calls in the future is different then me thinking he was inferring something different? in what way?

  • TBRK

    poor choice of words by Lebron…I’m pretty sure he meant to say he takes advantage of the vertical rule better than anyone in the NBA

  • 2chainz
  • Dfrance

    They seriously used to say he was like 275-280. lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah it is.

  • pposse

    thats probably what he meant

  • TTN

    Lebron might need to take off a few pounds to regain a few inchs of vertical. It was few plays last night that if he where in Cleveland he would have tried to throw it down. He went up a few times last night just to alter his shot and try to get it off. I’m sure he strong as hell as much as he works out he does not need to be 250.

  • Method

    Not everybody slows down at that age for a professional that prime years they work out way more than normal. Case and point wade is going to be 32 and he had two dunks last night that made him look 20. You got to remember these dudes are not short either it does not take much for anybody over 6’3 to dunk a ball.

  • Anthony

    We have to remember that commentators do not place their hands on a bible and “swear in” before they call a game…journalist for that matter either. At the end of the day this is entertainment. Sensationalism sales…..oh yeah Beyonce is really just aight looking w/o all the make-up, hair extension, and fancy clothes….deal with it.

  • Dfrance

    Idk, he said “They allow him” which to me sounds like he finds fault with the way its called in Hibberts favor.

  • LakeShow

    Well said.

  • LakeShow

    I remember having to argue with someone that; No, LeBron is not 20lbs shy of Shaq lol…

  • LakeShow

    He cut the extra (1-3% of) fat and put on 10lbs of muscle.

    Simple.

  • LakeShow

    I started the Pacers need a point guard train sometime mid season last year.

    BUT

    I do think they can win a chip with Hill at the point still.

    They play the best defense in the L and Hill solidifies that from the point. He is big and strong and a good, but unreliable shooter.

    He is serviceable enough, with the development of Paul George’s 1 on 1 game, Lance Stephenson’s ability to create for himself, and others, and the addition of Scola for this team to compete heavily for a chip imo.

  • PatRileyistheMan

    Here is exactly what LeBron is alluding to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QaALsPQ_mk

    That is a complete BS call, given to Hibbert solely on Hibbert’s reputation as “master of verticality.” Hibbert’s block on Carmelo’s dunk last year was his coming out party for this whole “master of verticality” untruth. He’s really not that good at going straight up, he just gets the benefit of the doubt when calls are close, because the talking heads (namely, Steve Kerr doesn’t seem to shut up about it, and he was so clearly biased against the Heat while calling their games in the ECF) have created this fiction that he always goes straight up, even though he most certainly does not. He does get called differently than other players because there has, since the ECF, evolved this fiction that he is always goes vertical, and it is simply untrue. So LeBron is right on with what he’s saying here.

    In the video I posted, for example, I note three significant points: (1) his arms are not straight up, they are clearly angled over LeBron; (2) his body doesn’t go straight up, he jumps forward into LeBron; (3) he is in the restricted area = no offensive foul. There is no way that call should have happened that way, unless the ref was subconsciously (or instructed by Stern) calling Hibbert differently than everyone else because of the “master of verticality” fiction the media has created. Same play, no one in the league other than Hibbert gets a charge call on that, and in fact, for any other player in the league, it would almost certainly be a blocking foul.

    You can make the argument that the play should be a no call, and I’ll concede its debatable, but if you pause the video right before they make contact, its pretty clear he’s not vertical, but about 10-15 degrees forward with both his arms and body. Nonetheless, he manages to get a charge call against LeBron due solely to his reputation. Hence, “they allow him to use his verticality rule more than anyone in our [their] league.”

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    there is just no way you are going to convince me the guy has only gained 5 lbs since he was 18. i don’t think he’s more than 270, but he’s definitely not the same weight he’s been since he was a kid.

  • PatRileyistheMan

    Nobody?

  • PatRileyistheMan

    Disagree with what you think he’s saying. And I agree with LeBron that Hibbert does get the benefit of the doubt on verticality calls moreso than anyone else in the L. See video I posed below.

  • Initbruv

    Haha well said. I for one would take Beyonce with a shaved head and no makeup with no qualms.

  • Junior Taylor

    There is no way in hell that LeBron was 245 in that pic as a rookie. He was most likely around 210 on the 1st pic and around 245-250 on the 2nd pic

  • PatRileyistheMan

    He is validly pointing out that Roy gets calls even when he does not play legal defense.

  • Butternuts

    Nailed it. I usually really enjoy Kerr, and he was probably instructed to be biased, but he was loving him some Pacers.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/LeBron-James-2967/links/

    6’8″ 245 lbs at the draft combine. That data is not faked.

  • Feez_22

    They definitely play awesome defense.

    However, the finals ultimately comes down to execution and stability. The pacers are good enough defensively to win it all. However, their offense and inability to string together possessions due to their turnovers/sloppy play will catch up to them.

    I’ve seen these pacers turn the ball over every time down 4-5 straight possessions in multiple games now. this will cause too much of a momentum swing to overcome where every possession counts.

    I think they will compete for a chip but… this offense is just garbage without a true lead or pure point. I just have to tell it how it is. The western conf winner will most likely have a top 10 defense and offense. The pacers have the #1 defense but probably have a bottom 10 offense. They will end up playing hero ball if they make the finals because of their lackluster execution and the fact that hibbert plays small consistently versus bigger centers. The real question is are their pieces as presently constituted good enough to play hero ball/scatter ball? IMO, no. This team is crying for a point guard or at the very least a very good lead guard that can take command. Sort of like a billups type when he was in detroit. Hill is good but isn’t that. just my thoughts on it.

  • dadamafia

    He doesnt need to lose weight or make any significant changes to his game. He is shooting the ball at a career high (overall fg%, 3pt%, and ft%) and putting up excellent numbers despite playing a career low in minutes. He is allowed to have an off game every now and then.

  • TTN

    Nobody said he had to be perfect every night calm down. I like Lebron and his approach to the game but last night there was sometimes he should have finished strong and he didn’t , he altered his shot or hoped for a foul. You should be able to admit that if you are a fan which it sounds like you are.

  • vINSANITY

    “Hibbert uses the dribble rule really well to move around the court easily”

  • dietary truth

    you do know shaq was quite fat, hence looking much bigger at the same weight

  • sole

    Players other than Roy Hibbert get called for fouls when they do the exact same thing Hibbert does

  • Bruce Wayne

    How would you know how easy or hard it is for anybody over or under a certain height to dunk?

  • Bruce Wayne

    Have you seen any of these guys in person? If not, then how would you know what their true heights and weights are?

    You are criticizing speculation from others while doing the exact same thing yourself..

  • Lan

    Lebron gets Horizontality Rule. All is fair in the NBA.

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