About the LeBron Foul Total Fiasco

No Regard For Human Life

No Regard For Human Life

Yesterday, many of you readers sent us a link to a post by Henry Abbott over at TrueHoop that appeared to be stirring up speculation that LeBron James is getting preferential treatmentby the NBA referees.  Admittedly, I was a bit perturbed by the post at first.  However, after re-reading it, and exchanging a few emails with Henry himself, it was merely “tossing out the question” type post where he hoped readers would respond with evidence that tilted the pendulum one way or the other.

If you missed it, Henry essentially posted an email that he received from a unbelievably biased Celtics blogger that used hackjob references to LeBron James not being whistled for calls.  Using lines like “While he is a virtuoso on offense, he hacks more than an asthmatic in the veterinarian’s office on defense” to get his point across not only screams lack of wit, but also lack of truly watching games and simply looking at box scores; then running along side the words of Sam Smith like Doc with a huffy’d up Little Mac. 

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for Henry’s readers to come to the rescue about Game 1. 

TrueHoop reader Michael Truax made that video, and also supplied a catalogue of every potentially relevant play. Even though he is a Cleveland fan, he swears he has been even-handed and invites others to audit his work. “I watched the video,” he explains, “cataloguing every screen he set (one total), every charge or block opportunity (one total), every time LeBron’s man posted him up (one total), every hard-fought board (one total), every reach-in (a handful, one questionable), and every time he made contact with a jump shooter (none).”

As a few of the WFNY writers discussed, James’ defense cannot be tallied by looking at box scores and being baffled that he has low foul totals based on his minutes per game.  James can tend to get called for fouls when in the post due to his large frame and physical nature.  However, the majority of the game finds James playing more of a fluid role by filling up passing lanes, altering shots and simply being the better basketball player that can take up a lot of space and simply make it difficult for the opposition.

He’s quick enough where he can reside far enough away from his man and still manage to close when needed.  His body control is possibly his most heralded skill, allowing for very little sloppy play – typically what causes a lot of blocking fouls away from the hoop.  But in the same, his quickness allows for him to alter his body so that he doesn’t create contact and the “dumb” foul. 

I’m glad that Henry was able to wrap up this issue within 24 hours of originally posting the question.  Here’s to Mr. Truax for his in-depth look at the game.  And here’s to said hack Celtics blogger actually watching a game instead of just the box score the following morning.

Now, if we want to discuss the non-calls when a 280-pound, MVP forward storms to the hoop, I’m game.

  • http://www.zfcomics.com dgriff13

    Glad that was taken care of. What a silly diversion. ANYWAY, moving on…

  • wendigo

    interesting, i went to that toolbag’s blog and the post isnt there anymore…

  • http://cursedcleveland.com cursedclevelanddotcom

    Scott, I do think he gets calls and I’m as much a Cavs fan as anyone. He’s a superstar, it’s the NBA. I also think he gets fouled a ton going to the hoop, many of which get overlooked.

    My beef is that so many of you on this site, will not allow any dissent, or at the very least, you’ll dismiss opposing viewpoints on the Cavs as outrageous. (Yet the Browns and Indians seem to be fair game). Sam Smith’s piece on this raised some very cogent points. Even if you don’t agree with his analysis of the statistics, it’s certainly a legitimate point to discuss.

    LeBron is definitely in that Shaq mold of “toughest players to officiate” because of his size and strength – unlike Shaq he also brings the quickness and the elevation. The difference is, some games, the refs penalized Shaq for his aggressiveness. That doesn’t EVER seem to be the case with LeBron. How can a player never be in foul trouble? As many minutes as he plays, it almost defies everything we know about a contact sports like basketball.

    Also, why weren’t there any posts about Jon Barry’s prediction of a Cavalier sweep against Atlanta. Yet b/c he didn’t think LeBron was the MVP, you guys eviscerated him. See, that’s what I’m getting at with WFNY. I actually do love the site despite the cheap shots I had taken when we relaunched (poor attempts at humor, I know!). I’m here everyday, for what it’s worth. And it just seems like lately, this site has decided to go on the attack anytime someone points out that they’re not as good as the 72-win Bulls.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    Fair points CC, but does Jon Barry predicting a Cavs sweep warrant a post? REALLY? Would you like a post about everything that everyone has to say? Because we all have jobs and other things to do.

    I have no problem with people having their own opinions, as long as they can back them up and give good counter-argument and have a decent discussion like adults, and realize that this site 1) has 10 (10!!!) contributors with differing opinions and 2) is meant to be PG rated. Not much gets censored, only things what are offensive. People’s opinions are fine. That’s my opinion but I feel that it’s par for the course if you’d ask everyone else that writes here.

    We’ll take your criticism to heart, but honestly man – this Cavs team is damn good. I don’t think anyone is delusional enough to think they’re the Bulls of the mid-90’s.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    I think we have spent many of days speaking negatively about the Cavs. Whether its too many threes, interior defense et al. However, as Denny said, this team is really, really good. Its thought to speak poorly without nitpicking.

    The only time I really have an issue is when there is unsubstantiated, obviously-biased bashing. We’ve seen it from Wizards fans and most recently Celtics fans. There is more to the game than box scores. And if someone attempts a poor critics via hack jokes through a widely read medium, I have no issue calling them out. Had he supplied video, it would have been completely different.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott


  • http://cursedcleveland.com cursedclevelanddotcom

    Thanks, sorry to be annoying. You have 10 writers now? That’s roughly a fourth of swerb’s blurbs!

  • Cee L

    Wait–a Celtics fan complaining about biased officiating? What’s next-the Lakers crying over the Grizzlies giving away players?

  • Dirtywax

    I’m admittedly biased, but it does seem that Henry has some type of agenda. I say this as an ex-fan of Truehoop who has read the site for the last 3 years. Unfortunately, I no longer subscribe to his site.

  • http://cursedcleveland.com cursedclevelanddotcom

    Unreal night by LeBron. But I have a feeling this tape will surface to back up the assertions about the King getting away with stuff. He’s fouled Josh Smith now 4 times, only one got called.

  • dutch

    there goes cursedcleveland, rationalizing his hating as “attempts at humor” again…

  • adam

    great post seriously one of the best ive read since becoming a daily reader a few months back

  • wendigo

    just throwing it out there, cursedcleveland.com kinda sucks…i just looked at it for the first time and its pretty bad.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    @ #11 = I assume you’re referring to comment # 10. There was a LOT of contact by LeBron on D last night, more so that any time I can remember recently. He pretty much fish-hooked J Smoove at one point, and got called for nothing. He should have had a charge called on him early. He got away with a lot for realsies last night. Should have probably had 4 fouls.

    Not that it would have mattered.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    Denny beat me to it. I fully expect to hear about it today. I just hope that the rest of the playoffs don’t turn into big brother.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    We’re not even mid way through the second round and we’ve had a handful of games that have hindsight officiating… I think it only gets worse from here.

  • DCBucks

    For every foul not called on LeBron there are two that aren’t called for him. NBA officials are by far the most inconsistent in all of sports. Somewhere along the line many of them decided they were just as important as the players, and they have to make it known.

    Like it or not LeBron is a superstar in the NBA. Give credit to Mike Brown for starting the “LeBron for Defensive MVP” campaign early in the year. That’s enough for the likes of ESPN producers and main stream sports writers to run with as a storyline. So now he gets away with the same stuff that Bowen, and Prince, and “stick your defensive expert here” do.

    For the first time a Cleveland team actually benefits. Waaaaahhhh.

    WFNY and its commentors are so biased.

  • Boomhauer

    @ 8 Cee L – LMAO!! Right on!!

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