ECF Game 5: LeBron vs Detroit in a historic performance

A lot of people apparently chalked this series up to Detroit, not giving the Cavs a serious chance of winning. I saw a lot of predictions for a 4-0 sweep.

The Cavs have thus far outplayed Detroit in all 5 games of the series, with the two losses (and some of the wins) heavily influenced by bad officiating. I’m not a very hardcore NBA fan, but is it typical for the home team to have such a dramatic advantage in getting calls? At home, the Pistons could kick LeBron in the balls if they wanted to and not get called, but if someone brushes against Billups it’s an instant whistle. At Cleveland the calls still seemed more fair. From some message boards I’ve read, it seems as though a lot of fans from a lot of different teams feel like Detroit gets favorable officiating pretty regularly.

They certainly tried to give this game to Detroit repeatedly, especially at the end. An uncalled travel which turned into a Cleveland foul after there was contact after 4 undribbled steps. A Wallace “block” on James that made foul-worthy contact at least 3 times. Many, many other foul-worthy contacts that got uncalled whereas contact against Detroit players quickly did. Probably some I’m forgetting.

A lot of bad coaching decisions by Mike Brown further hampered the Cavs - he seems to take a time out any time the other team scores 4 points unanswered, as if his players are so mentally weak that they can’t recover from being scored on without a break and a pep talk, so that when the time outs are needed at the last minute they’re not there. And he seemed to back away, in overtime, against going against players with 5 fouls and trying to foul them out - while Detroit was effective in getting a lot of Cavs starters off the court. His offensive game plans in general just seem terrible - there’s a lot of standing around for 22 seconds and then giving off a desperate off balance chuck at the basket on the Cavs offense.

But it didn’t matter that the officials seemed determine to let Detroit win, or that there were only 2 Cavs starters on the court by the end, LeBron James absolutely took the game over. He scored the last 25 of his team’s points, and 29 of the last 30, for 46 total. No other Cav scored a field goal from 8 minutes left in the 4th until the end of 2nd OT. It’s not that he had a Kobe-like selfishness - but that he’d relied on his support more in earlier games and it sometimes failed. A lot of people apparently chalked this series up to Detroit, not giving the Cavs a serious chance of winning. I saw a lot of predictions for a 4-0 sweep.
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So even though Detroit, the best defense in the league, started playing just to stop him (there were 5 men in his lane during some possessions), they couldn’t. It was, essentially, at that point, LeBron James vs the Detroit Pistom, and LeBron won, in what I’m hearing is one of the greatest playoff performances of all time.

Woops, something went wrong with copy and paste or something there. Could someone report that to a mod, perhaps? I don’t think you can self-report.

I’m not sure what to chalk it up to, and I’m relatively not sure it’s just blatant homerism, but Detroit does get some calls. With that being said, any kind of an edge gets shot down by the superstar call, the calls that Lebron gets.

I think, coming to the end, the Pistons didn’t put a body on Lebron (should have knocked him to the floor. You want to win the game by yourself, pick yourself off the ground and shoot a pair) because they feared the 3 point play. They’d concede the 2 and get the ball back.

The worst call so far was the bail-out call that Lebron got. It was in the lane and I believe he bounced off of Webber and dove onto the ground. There was minimal contact there and Lebron was out of control. By far, that was the worst. Some of the others might have been egregious, but livable. That one, though…yick. I hate bail-out calls as much as I hate flopping.

I’m not clear on what fix you would like me to make.

Not the best playoff performance ever, but pretty far up there. Especially considering is age and experience.

Agreed. Lebron put up stupid shots, shots that most coaches would strangle you for shooting, but he was hitting them.

I’d like to see how he’ll follow it up. Can he turn this on at will? Has he shot his wad? Will his teammates be gassed?

Should be a damned good couple of games left.

I agree that the refs stood back and let Detroit commit flagrant fouls in the first two games- but in fairness, there were a lot of fouls they could have called against Cleveland (but didn’t) in those games, too.

In the NBA East, play has been tough, physical and even brutal for a long time. That’s standard operating procdure, and refs generally tolerate it. Older fans recall very well how the old Pistons (Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, et al.) used to make Michael Jordan pay in blood for every basket. And oddly enough, Rodman came to respect Jordan greatly precisely BECAUSE he took every beating without whining or flopping or yelling “He fouled me, he fouled me!!!” Jordan figured the best way to fight back was the take the pounding and WIN.

To his credit, LeBron James had ample opportunity to gripe about the officiating, and didn’t do it. If James leads the Cavs to a victory, he’ll earn new respect from a lot of colleagues and fans who weren’t sure he had it in him. Guys who receive as much hype as James did are always suspect in some quarters. Heck, after games 1 and 2, there were FAR too many people eager to say, “SEE- I always KNEW he was overrated!”

But he won’t be suspect any more after this series.

I accidentally pasted a few paragraphs in the post twice. Please remove everything from the second instance of “The Cavs have thus far…” (paragraph 5) to the second instance of “A lot of bad coaching decisions…” (paragraph 8), removing everything between and including paragraphs 5 through 8. Thanks.

Is done.

Ah, not being a basketball fan, I didn’t really read it, just scanned for coding errors or whatnot.

My new motto is, “Let Czarcasm do it.”

Thanks. No, I should’ve clarified what I wanted done - it was obvious to me that I’d repeated a large chunk of it, but you’d have to read it all through to figure out exactly where, and I should’ve done the work and not asked you to.

In my humble unprejudiced opinion I think weak calls and flopping are wrecking the game. Lebron has inherited the Jordan rules. He goes to the basket and a chorus of whistles follow. Traveling gets called once a decade but happens endlessly. The comish still wants superstars to push the game and in his money grubbing little coal black heart ,I think he is against a an organization that stresses team play.
He got whistles when no one was near him. I thought it sucked. Detroit played stupid. If one guy is taking all the shots get in his face and stay there. He was free to get inbound passes when everybody and his grandmother knew where the ball was going.

Actually LeBron is the only superstar that doesn’t seem to play by Jordan rules. If anything, far less whistles than average are called on him. It’s partly justified in that he initiates a lot of contact himself, but he gets far, far less than his share of “Jordan rules” calls.

Edit: I sound like a homer but I generally try to be objective. There were a few missed calls against the Cavs (or calls against them that should’ve been non-calls) which I admitted to myself as the game progressed. LeBron certainly does not generally play by Jordan rules - I’ve seen him mugged repeatedly with no calls in a game where ticky tacky calls were being made against other players. Take the last shot of game 2, for example - when he got foul-worthy contact at least 3 times, and there was no call. If that had been Billups, there’d have been 18 whistles blowing (somehow).

Lebron didn’t get as many Jordan calls, but that may change now.

Dwyane Wade got a LOT more and initiated a LOT more contact.

That’s true, for a comparison, Wade probably gets about 3x more fouls per game whistled than LeBron… from what I hear anyway, I haven’t seen more than like 3 Heat games. If anyone in the league is playing under Jordan rules, it’s him.

Despite the quite legitimate arguments about officiating, LeBron proved that he’s the real deal. That performance was up there in the top ten all-time IMHO. When your team mates aren’t getting the job done(probably because Detroit IS a good defensive team), you have to step up and do it yourself. He did.

I would also venture to say that Lebron will be getting a lot more in the future.
Wade’s game is predicated on throwing himself into the lane. With extra emphasis on Shaq, there’s some room. Wade’s not an especially good shooter or defender. With a shoulder that’s wonky and could be career-ending if he injures it again, he better develop his jumper something fierce this offseason.

Agreed. Lebron put up an amazing game. He kept draining very dumb shots. His teammates barely touched the ball, so I don’t know if they “can’t get it done”.

Well, he’s been screwed every which way by the media no matter what he does.

If he plays unselfishly, scores 18 points and like 12 assists, passing the ball all over the place, they’ll say he just doesn’t have the drive of a superstar to take the game on his shoulders and win. At the end of game one, he kicks it out to a wide open Marshall and gets criticized for not doing it himself. So the next game he takes that last shot himself, gets hammered on the way to the hoop with no whistle (he didn’t get a single foul called on him that game - Jordan rules my ass) and can’t complete it, and then gets criticized for not kicking it out to a teammate.

Either way, he’s screwed.

In that game, anyway, I guess he decided that when it comes to crunch time, he’s going to have to put the game on his shoulders. Clearly, he did. I don’t think he intended to take all of the scoring over completely by himself - but they were doing everything they could and still couldn’t stop him - might as well go with it.

I’m excited about tonight. That game might’ve broken Detroit’s spirit. The Cleveland crowd is going to be nuts. Cavs win 96-92.

Lebron does get criticized. He made the right decision to pass, and made the wrong decision to take it himself the game after that (with minimal contact, dear sir).

Tonight should be a good game. Oddly enough, I’m not worried. The Pistons do this every fucking year. They shouldn’t. They should put lesser foes down and away when they get the opportunity, but they simply don’t. The Cavs ARE the worse team. It’s just up to the Pistons to play like the better team.

Gah, there are going to be some shitty calls tonight… I can feel it.

The advertisement at the bottom was to undo circumsision damage.
I don’t want to know what that was all about.