Posted May 29, 2013

Heat’s LeBron James disputes calls after fouling out of Game 4 loss to Pacers

2013 NBA playoffs, Ben Golliver, Indiana Pacers, Lance Stephenson, LeBron James, Miami Heat

Game 4 marked just the fifth time LeBron James has fouled out of an NBA game during his 10-year career and just the second time he has fouled out since joining the Heat in 2010. James did not go quietly, taking exception to four of the six fouls called on him during a 99-92 loss to the Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday.

James received his sixth foul with 56 seconds to play in the fourth quarter when he was whistled for setting an illegal screen on Lance Stephenson. He attempted to set a screen for Dwyane Wade at the top of the key and approached Stephenson from the left. James stuck out his left leg and stepped on Stephenson’s left foot as the Pacers’ guard attempted to fight over the top of the screen. Wade crossed over from his right to his left, ignoring the screen, but James was whistled for his sixth foul anyway, necessitating the automatic ejection.

“I didn’t believe it was an offensive foul,” James told reporters. “I was going to set a screen, and I felt like I was stationary. And D‑Wade rejected the pick‑and‑roll. Lance actually ran into me.”

James also disputed three other foul calls assessed to him earlier in the game.

First, his foul on David West with two seconds remaining in the third quarter, which occurred near the baseline after the Heat gathered a defensive rebound. West defended James in the backcourt to prevent a quarter-closing heave and James responded with a left elbow swing to clear space. Replays seemed to indicate that there was minimal contact, although West reacted as if he had been struck.

Second, his foul on Roy Hibbert with 7:07 left in the fourth quarter, which occurred as the Pacers’ center executed a spin move as he entered the paint while James attempted to take a charge. The baseline referee initially whistled Hibbert for an offensive foul, as James fell to the floor, but the near-side referee at midcourt overruled that decision, apparently calling James for slapping down on the ball before Hibbert rose up for the shot attempt.

Third, his foul on Paul George with 5:37 remaining in the fourth quarter, which occurred as the Pacers’ forward attacked the basket from the left baseline. James came over from the weak side to contest the drive. George’s left arm and James’ chest appeared to come into contact before George adjusted to complete the basket on a second-effort shot.

“I believe I was straight up and down on Paul George’s drive, on the and‑one,” James said. “They reversed a call with Hibbert, called a foul [on] me on that one. And at the end of the third [quarter] they called a push‑off on David West. … It was a couple of calls that I didn’t feel like were fouls, personal fouls on me. That’s how the game goes sometimes.”

The Pacers led 96-92 when James was ejected, and the Heat didn’t score again. Miami conceded a 13-3 run in the game’s final five minutes. James left Game 4 with a game-high 24 points (on 8-for-18 shooting), six rebounds and five assists in 43 minutes.

“You would like to be out there on the floor, especially me,” James said. “Be there for my teammates, especially in the closing minutes when we have a chance to win. Wasn’t able to do that.”

Before Tuesday, James’ only other ejection with the Heat came during a 93-91 overtime loss to the Celtics in Game 4 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals. He has now been whistled for five or more fouls twice in this series; he was whistled for five fouls only once during the regular season.

“Last time LeBron fouled out of a playoff game was last year in Boston,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “So it doesn’t happen very often. … You have to overcome a lot in the playoffs. It’s not easy to compete for a title. So we just went to other guys, and at end of the day we still had an opportunity.”

Game 4 was the second tough moment in the series for James, who committed two turnovers in the final minute of a Game 2 loss after hitting the game-winning buzzer-beater in a Game 1 overtime victory.

Hibbert led the Pacers with 23 points (on 10-for-16 shooting) and 12 rebounds. Indiana’s win evened the series at two games apiece. Game 5 is Thursday in Miami.

49 comments
super_mecha
super_mecha

So when is stern going to fine james? O ya i forgot that stern laid out a different set of rules for him

nature boy ric f.
nature boy ric f.

Wow so LeBron actually got fined for flopping! Amazing.  Still waiting for the fine for criticizing the officiating.  Probably be waiting a long time for that.

Marko_Viter
Marko_Viter

The officials made sure there is a game 6. It's business and the west conference is boring!

deanthology
deanthology

LeBron flops. There, I said it. LeBronny flops like a little girl likes pink cupcakes. So glad I was finally able to get that off my chest. I feel better now.

Birren03
Birren03

Announcer on this call (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller, Craig Sager) were all over Lebron's jock on that call. They sit and review the video and still say "tough call", bunch of BS

Epoch1
Epoch1

Please! This whiner has been the recipient of more sham calls in his career than the entire NBA out together. Players are called for fouls if they bive him a cross look.

He's considered one of the top defenders in the league yet he's only averages about 1.5 fouls a game. Get real, James!

ChrisLee
ChrisLee

ticky tack but definitely a foul.  maybe not a moving screen but he definitely tripped him.

GoonDiapers
GoonDiapers

The last foul was questionable but the others were definitely fouls. Not really obvious fouls—but James isn't used to having any but the most obvious fouls called on him. It was good to see him treated like everyone else for once by the officiating (which was overall pretty terrible I will admit).

Genghis_Sean
Genghis_Sean

Saw a poll where a majority said it absolutely was the correct call and should have been called.

grd2345
grd2345

Sorry Heat Fans, but the boss man(Pat Riley) has said it best from the beginning.

NO REBOUNDS=NO RINGS

Even if their talents take them past the Pacers, the Spurs have rim protectors too, but a better coach, a better offense, a better point guard, a better 6th man. It will be tough.

LazareJeanBernardHatzakorzian
LazareJeanBernardHatzakorzian

DUDE IS THE THIRD BEST "FLOPPER" ON THE HEAT AFTER BATTIER AND WADE, PLUS HE WENT 11 QUARTERS WITHOUT BEING CALLED FOR A FOUL. LEBRON JAMES = KING FRAUD. 

McGibblets
McGibblets

Shouldn't he be fined for commenting about the officiating?

If everything doesn't go exactly right for this self-proclaimed king, then he whines.  He flops, he whines.  He flops, he whines.

It's a shame all fair-weather NBA fans like him because he's actually kind of a disgrace to the game.  Extremely talented, yes.  But, he's immature and he doesn't handle himself well.  Hes actually quite embarrassing sometimes.

I'm so sick and tired of this whiny jerk. 

FedorGaponenko
FedorGaponenko

Frankly that was an easy call on the 6th foul. Looking at replays only makes it that much easier... Lebron was hoping that because he's Lebron, has 5 fouls and it's a close game with 50 seconds left they won't call that a foul.. Props to the refs for making the right call with no regard to names or time on the clock

DeanHewitt
DeanHewitt

James is now the MVW, most valuable whiner....   On the foul when George went to the basket, LeBron had his foot on the circle.  He did throw the elbow, he did stick his knee out and he was given a technical and complained at every break in the action.  Refs get tired of it.  He questions the refs every time he gets a chance.  Wasn't it James who said there was a place for floping....

goingaways
goingaways

Yeah well officiated game when David "The Hammer" West can come out of this game with only 2 fouls called on him and still not foul out of a game. The guy while a great player is a mauler and a pure and simple dirty player,,nice shoulder punch to Chalmers,neck lasso to Battier , arm ring on LBJ oh sheez I can.t remember them all there are too many but I guess the refs can't (or won't) call these BLATANT fouls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bhayes420
bhayes420

"Wah...wah...wah...It's not fair," cried Lebron.

kenc29
kenc29

The last foul was legit. That was a deliberate attempt at a trip. Nothing to complain about.

lagunas
lagunas

Looks to me like James intentionally stuck his leg out and stepped on Stephenson's foot.  Kind of a sneaky veteran move, and LeBron probably figured that he wouldn't get caught (I'm sure guys from David West to Shane Battier do stuff like that all the time) or that the refs wouldn't have the nerve to foul him out for something like that.  But, he committed the foul, it was a clear foul, and he got caught.  Can't complain too much about that.  

Charles19
Charles19

Shorter LeBron: "Waaaaah!  Waaaaaaaaaaaah!"

R C1
R C1

There was some horrible officiating in that game, but that call wasn't part of it.  The 24 second shot clock violation springs immediately to mind, as well as numerous flops for Miami and about 4 fouls called when defending Lebron and we swatted the ball.

Lebron is pissed cause he let Lance Stephenson get in his head.  pure and simple.

nature boy ric f.
nature boy ric f.

I won't be holding my breathe until LeBron gets fined for criticizing the officiating.  Not gonna happen.  Wade hasn't paid a nickel for flopping under Stern's selective fine policy.  If you're Jeff Pendergraph on the Pacers and you flop once it's 15k, if you're D-bag Wade you can flop and throw "inadvertant" elbows all day and not worry about any type of discipline.

nathan l
nathan l

How much do you want to bet the words "Do you know who I am" came into the equation?

JayTaylor
JayTaylor

Looks like a legit call to me.

NBA.com says: An illegal screen/pick is when the defender does not get into a legal position.

When you step on the foot of the opponent, it's hard to argue that the defnder was in a legal position. Weird call i know, but unless both feet are "at rest" then you can't claim a "legal position."

In this case, stepping on the opponents foot as you try to establish your position isn't technically "at rest" and therefore, an illegal screen.


I admit, weird, but the ref got it right. An illegal obstruction is an illegal obstruction. Clearly, both feet weren't at rest, and Lebron hadn't established position.


 

burgelarone
burgelarone

IF MIAMI IS NOT WINNING IM NOT WATCHING! WHERE DID THEY GET THESE REFS FROM, CAN WE PLEASE SEE A BASKETBALL GAME

OK
OK

The Queen turns the rock over in the final 60 seconds - and then fouls out.

Show Me Da Green or I Ain't Playin' for Da Red, White, and Blue gets smacked with a T in the first quarter and turns the rock over in the final 60 seconds.

Down goes The Queen and Her Court.

Best of 3, Ladies. Not to worry: Commish Stern and his ESPN Financial Masters will give you the series.

vicente
vicente

what is wrong with steve kerr and reggie lewis? first wade elbowing lance stephenson in the head in game 2 was "inadvertent", now lebron intentionally stepping on lance stephenson's foot to obviously gain advanatage is "a tough call"?

GoonDiapers
GoonDiapers

@McGibblets My favorite thing that sums up Lebron's attitude is when he was like, "What, am I supposed to go shake a guy's hand when he beats me?" Yes, Lebron, that is literally what you're supposed to do. I learned that when I was child and did it—it should be that much easier for someone to do as a grown man.

GoonDiapers
GoonDiapers

@R C1 That shot clock thing was amazing. It didn't hit the rim once—it hit the rim, then the backboard, then the rim AGAIN! How was that missed?

josemhg
josemhg

Heat fans like you applaud Wade and LeBron when they flop almost every game.... and cry when the other team does the same..... cry babies....

JonathanD
JonathanD

@OK Pacers have shot 35 more free throws than the Heat, Lebron and Wade have both fouled out of games, the Pacers have gotten crucial calls in their favor in the final minute of all three close games...and you're STILL crying "the game is rigged for the Heat!"

Twen15
Twen15

@vicente I think its "tough" in the sense that officials let that kind of screen go all the time and then decide to call it late in a game.  Kinda like a bait and switch.  I agree that by the rule book it was certainly a foul.

GoonDiapers
GoonDiapers

@vicente I think from the angle they showed on tv it wasn't as easy to see what happened. I didn't even see the stepping on the foot. It almost looked like he might have tripped on his own. Once you can see that he stepped on his foot, though…

lagunas
lagunas

@vicente 

I thought the same thing, especially when Stephenson got called for a foul earlier for doing the exact same thing to LeBron (the play where he rolled his ankle) the announcers were saying, "Yeah, that's a foul.  Correct call."

Also, it's Reggie Miller, not Lewis

goingaways
goingaways

@grd2345 @goingaways that is true but hey they did it last year and came within 1 game the year before so, until as they say it ain't broke don't fix it! (or something like that!!:):) )

mickeyd302
mickeyd302

@JonathanD The Pacers have also out rebounded the Heat by 40 in the series so far.  The Pacers have generally been more aggressive this series, therefore they are going to the charity stripe more.  Many Heat fans often conveniently fail to look at other stats that might explain the reason for the FT difference.

nature boy ric f.
nature boy ric f.

@lagunas @vicente Reggie's just trying to be a professional and not sound like the team's radio guy.  Especially when people tuning in to watch the Heat outnumber fans of the Pacers 20 to 1,  he's not going to last long yelling "BOOM BABY!"every time the Pacers hit a three on national TV.

Oldtimeduffer
Oldtimeduffer

@McGibblets @Oldtimeduffer I honestly wasn't commenting about your spelling and in fact didn't realize I spelled it differently until after I posted.  My point was that your post came across as whiney, certainly just as whiney as you accuse Lebron of being.

Actually I think about 90% of the NBA players are whiners.  Lebron is no better or worse than the rest. 

mickeyd302
mickeyd302

@JonathanD Simple, if you get more rebounds, especially offensive boards (the Pacers have 17 more offensive boards than the Heat thus far in the series), you have the ball more often.  If you have the ball more often, the greater the chance of getting a foul called against the opponent.  Most rebounds occur in the paint.  If a team gets an offensive board, the defender is more apt to foul trying to make up for giving up the board.  I will admit that I do not have the statistics in front of me but I am sure that there is probably a correlation between a team taking more FT and team out-rebounding the other team. The Pacers are showing that they are willing to do the grunt work in this series and I believe that is the reason they are getting more FTs.

JonathanD
JonathanD

@mickeyd302 @JonathanD I'm having a hard time seeing why you're connecting rebound numbers to the Pacers getting more free throws or Lebron/Wade fouling out.


Usually, the connection to free throw numbers is POINTS IN THE PAINT, not rebounds.  And the Heat have more points in the paint than the Pacers.

Anyway, I'm not trying to call for a conspiracy theory.  I'm not complaining about the free throw numbers.  I'm just saying that the complaining by the Pacer fans is ridiculous.

nature boy ric f.
nature boy ric f.

@lagunas @vicente Steve Kerr on the other hand is so bland and politically correct he will put you to sleep.  He tries so hard not to bite the hand that feeds him that everything he says is emotionless, calculated, and oh so boring.