Posted June 10, 2013

Video: Heat’s LeBron James blocks Spurs’ Tiago Splitter on dunk attempt

2013 NBA Finals, Ben Golliver, LeBron James, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Tiago Splitter

Heat forward LeBron James rose high to block Spurs center Tiago Splitter on a dunk attempt at the rim during the fourth quarter of Miami’s 103-84 defeat of San Antonio in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday.

“Basically, I told myself, you’ll end up on SportsCenter one way or another, either getting dunked on going to get a block,” James said. “Luckily I was on the good side of the Top 10.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra singled out James’ selflessness on the play, what with the looming possibility of a YouTube posterization.

“A lot of players wouldn’t go for that,” he said. “[There's] the possibility of getting dunked on and being on a highlight film. He’s been on that highlight film both ways. It takes great courage to go up and make one of those plays.”

With a little more than eight minutes remaining in the fourth and Miami leading 86-67, James darted over from the right baseline, leaving Kawhi Leonard to meet a driving Splitter right in the middle of the paint. Splitter attempted a right-handed slam over the top but James rose and capped the shot with his right hand, knocking the ball free and allowing Chris Bosh to recover it for Miami. James celebrated the play with a flex, a chest pound and a scream.

“I was, I guess, the last line of defense,” James continued. “I just pride myself on that side of the floor.”

This was the definition of a bang-bang sequence, as Splitter didn’t hesitate in attacking the rim at full force after diving to the hoop from the free throw line as he received a pass from Tony Parker. James’ quick burst from the weakside put him in great position to make the play, and there wasn’t much question he would win the hangtime battle against Splitter.

“He blocked it,” Heat guard Mario Chalmers said. “I mean, we seen that coming. I know I kind of figured he was going to block that one, just the angle he had. That’s why he’s First-Team All-Defense.”

The Heat used a 15-0 second-half run to blow open Game 2. James started slowly in the first half, scoring just four points by halftime, but his fingerprints were all over Miami’s strong second-half performance. The Heat scored eight straight points after James’ block on Splitter, pushing their lead to an insurmountable 27 points.

“Just wanted to make an impact some way,” James said, after scoring 17 points (on 7-for-17 shooting) and tallying eight rebounds and seven assists. “Offensively, it was a struggle for me. Couldn’t make a shot, missed layups.”

The rejection of Splitter was James’ second big-time defensive highlight of the night, as he got his fingertips on a Tim Duncan shot in the first half, too.

James also had a massive block of Pacers guard George Hill during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Spurs defeated the Heat 92-88 in Game 1 on Thursday. The series shifts to San Antonio’s AT&T Center for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Video via YouTube user duracellx88

32 comments
lagunas
lagunas

That was an awesome play.  But we should also take a moment to consider how NBA players who play defense now earn praise for their "courage" because they might end up looking bad on youtube.  Maybe it's time to cue the Chris Rock, "supposed to do" rant

0xfece5
0xfece5

I love the idiots here whose sole basis of comparison is rings.  If I want someone to tell me if 6 > 5, or 11 > 6, or whatever, I'll ask a 1st grader.

I can assemble an all-star team of complete chumps who have tons of "rings".  Or I can choose clear studs who do everything on the court.  You can have Luc Longley (3 rings), I'll take LeBron.

GeoffreyHolland
GeoffreyHolland

"James celebrated the play with a flex, a chest pound and a scream."

 Always nice to show up your opponents on a meaningless block with a huge lead. Classy. Without the CL.

John4
John4

Dennis Rodman made a series of idiotic remarks (of course it's Rodman, what other type of remarks does he make?) about LeBron earlier in the week, saying that if Lebron played in the 1980s or 1990s, that he would have been an average player.  I'm guessing Rodman might want to change his idiotic opinion after seeing LeBron's performance in game 2.  3 Wins to go for a second ring for LeBron.

doghockey
doghockey

@GeoffreyHolland You guys are always complaining about another team or player showing up their opposition.   What is so offensive about this behavior?  After all, they see this stuff all season long.  Do you really believe that grown men are going to be upset by a little showmanship?  Oh, and I mean the players on the court, not you spectators that get so worked over a simple play and a little emotion shown after it.

Mr. J
Mr. J

@GeoffreyHolland Sounds like another jealous, hater....I am going to love when guys like you cry after Lebron wins another rings....lol..

lagunas
lagunas

@doghockey @GeoffreyHolland LeBron didn't do anything terrible, but just for comparison, when Hibbert had a similar block on Carmelo Anthony in the 2nd round, a play that really changed the momentum of a much closer game, Hibbert didn't flex or pound his chest.  He just jogged back up the court to set up on offense.  

Again, LeBron's celebration isn't that bad, but it would be nice if the best player in the world acted like he'd been here before.  

John4
John4

@GeoffreyHolland Geoffrey - we all know that (broke and "can't score") Rodman has 2 rings with Detroit, and then 3 more as a member of Michael Jordan's posse.  Still, it does not justify his idiotic comments that LBJ would have been an average player if he played in the 1990s and 1980s. Any comment like that is just idiotic. I would think someone as smart as you would grasp that.

John Rotten
John Rotten

@GeoffreyHolland @John4 How about we give Bron Isaiah, Dumars, Pippen, MJ?   So many of your fools don't seem to understand that basketball is a TEAM sport.  Oh, remeind me again how many titles MJ won without Pippen? 

JonathanD
JonathanD

@GeoffreyHolland @John4Rings as a role player are nice, but it's a joke to compare a role player to the superstar with a "rings" argument.  Are you going to say that Pippen and Horry are better than Kobe because they have more rings?

doghockey
doghockey

@lagunas How about all the fans who yell, scream, clap, and jump around after a good play?  Given that many of them have seen good plays before, should they all sit down, shut up, and just watch the game?

lagunas
lagunas

@John Rotten @lagunas @doghockey @GeoffreyHolland I watch the NBA for the basketball, not for the celebrations.  That's why I love watching James play, but the dude can cool it with the flopping, pumping his chest after every play, and the pained contortions whenever a foul is called on him

John Rotten
John Rotten

@lagunas @doghockey @GeoffreyHolland Right, lets just have every player in the game have the exact same character.  Boy wouldn't it be fun to have a bunch of robots out there who didn't show excitement.   Lets hope from here on out everyone in the league is exactly like Hibbert.   

John4
John4

@StevenProfit Steven - I agree with you.  Right now, LeBron is the best player in the world.  

John4
John4

@StevenProfit Steven - it's all good.  Nobody corrected you on your grammar or spelling.  And your comments above added a lot of insight to the discussion.  Peace.

StevenProfit
StevenProfit

@GeoffreyHolland @John4 Lebron and Jordan have the same amount of rings-at there comparable age.Did u notice the drop offf in wins after he left Cleveland.Maybe he was a winner on a losing team.Jordon got banished from the NBA for gambling,and who know whatelse.LBJ did the Decision to raise money for the united way in Cleveland-yes he is evil.

StevenProfit
StevenProfit

@GeoffreyHolland @John4 Yep i cant spellll-i can dunk.I played prep hoops with Vinny Del Negro in Suffield accademy. Look it up/U hate Lebronie-man he is Jordan,and Karl Malone,Majic Johnson rolled into 1.

StevenProfit
StevenProfit

@GeoffreyHolland @John4 I met RODMAN last month in a club in South Florida last month.The guy s brain dead.Anyone who respects his basketball knowledge is just as moronic as he is.Just enjoy greatness.Best player in the world.The ring argument is pointless.Yes I have as many rings as Barkley,Ewing,Stockton,and Therefore im just as good as they are.

GeoffreyHolland
GeoffreyHolland

@StevenProfit @GeoffreyHolland @John4 I'm clueless, yet you can't spell 'you're' correctly.

And btw, I'm 6'7 and I played basketball. Not that height has anything to do with it, as Muggsy Bogues and Spud Webb would tell you.

As for petting my dog, yeah, wow, what an insult. Whoo boy, you sure know how to hit hard. LOL.


doghockey
doghockey

@John Rotten Isiah Thomas didn't win any championships without John Salley either.   What's your point?

John4
John4

@GeoffreyHolland Winning didn't follow Rodman to San Antonio (how in the world could Rodman screw that up!).  Winning did not follow him to Dallas.  (He screwed that up as well).  And it did not follow him to the Lakers, as yes, he screwed that up too.  So you mean it followed him almost half the time, and once when he coat tailed Michael Jordan?  Then yes.  You are right.  

doghockey
doghockey

@GeoffreyHolland Winning followed Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher around as well, to the tune of five rings.  Guess that also makes them better players than Kobe and Lebron as well, huh?

JonathanD
JonathanD

@magicalhorton @JonathanD @GeoffreyHolland @John4A little reading comprehension problem?


I said "Pippen and Horry", not "Pippen and Rodman".

But either way, you will read 50 lists of the greatest players in NBA history without reading a single one that places Horry, Pippen, or Rodman above Kobe.  Sorry, because I'm not a Kobe fan, but that's simple truth.  You can lol all you want, but any sportswriter, player, coach, or bball historian would laugh at what you just said.

magicalhorton
magicalhorton

@JonathanD @GeoffreyHolland @John4 

 lol at Kobe being better than Pippen and Rodman as an open and shut case. That is a joke.Rodmans teams won. The fact that he secured so many extra possessions of the ball was HUGE for whoever he played for One of the most underrated players ever. And pippen's game speaks for itself. Dude was a beast on both ends. Not the scorer that kobe was but certainly a much better defender, and a more selfless player as well. I'd date Pippen on my team, before I'd take Kobe, no doubt.

GeoffreyHolland
GeoffreyHolland

@JonathanD @GeoffreyHolland @John4 Yes, they are. Kobe wasn't even the main man for some of his rings. Shaq was.

Guys like Pippen and Rodman were stars in their own rights. Don't forget Rodman also won 2 rings with the Pistons, so winning followed him around.