Smack / Apr 28, 2010 / 2:35 am

To the Left, To the Left

LeBron James (photo. Nike)

What if Michael Jordan had shot his famous shut-eye free throw in the final seconds of the fourth quarter of a playoff game against a heated rival? Then it’s not just a cute footnote; it goes down as the worst (or best) prick move ever, making MJ’s Hall of Fame speech seem like Lamb Chop‘s sing-along by comparison. So what do we make of LeBron James last night, when he stepped to the foul line with a chance to close out the Bulls and shot one free throw left-handed? (He missed.) LeBron said his right elbow was sore, but try selling that to a bitter Chicago fan … On a night where he took more free throws (14) than field goals (12), LeBron just missed a triple-double with 19 points, 10 boards and 9 assists. While the shooting of Antawn Jamison (25 pts) and foul-drawing abilities of Shaq had Cleveland on the verge of running away with the game a few times in the second half, when Chicago wouldn’t go away, it was LeBron’s cue to take over. Earlier in the series he delivered daggers with his jumper, but last night he got to the rack for layups and and-ones … If the NBA wanted a guaranteed $35,000 coming its way, they would have required Brad Miller attend the post-game press conference. Miller and Joakim Noah had some fouls called against them that would have sent Sean Elliott on a Southwestern killing spree had it been a Spurs/Cavs game. In one sequence, one of the refs made a big show about warning Miller and Shaq to tone it down in the paint. Right after Miller gave the ref some lip, he immediately hit him up with two fouls the next two times Shaq got the ball, even though both guys were giving as much as they were getting. After Miller sat down, the Cavs went right back to Shaq, who drew another bad call on Noah, then got an easy dunk when Joakim had no choice but to let him have the lane … Another fourth-quarter sequence the Bulls can blame on the refs was when Derrick Rose (31 pts, 6 asts) had what should have been a continuation and-one overturned, eventually resulting in a 24-second violation on the same possession. LeBron got a plus-one layup on the other end, and the Cavs never trailed again … Sign in the crowd: “Joakim I Noah Dentist” … That’s it for the Miami Heat, knocked out last night as Celtics vs. Cavs is set for the conference semis. Objective #1 for Boston was keeping D-Wade somewhat in check, and for the most part they made Wade (31 pts, 10 asts) take tough shots. The Celtics led by as much as 21 in the third quarter, and although Miami cut the lead down to three in the fourth, Big Baby stopped that momentum when he spun into the lane and muscled in a layup plus the foul, then punctuated it with some unidentified dance; We’ll call it the “Thickey Shuffle.” Ray Allen (24 pts, 5 threes) and Paul Pierce (21 pts, 7 rebs, 6 asts) hit a couple more daggers down the stretch to finish it off … The Celtics announcers need to stop with the whining, ’cause it’s not even cute anymore. Does anybody really believe there’s some League-wide referee conspiracy against the Boston F’n Celtics? That’s like Jerry Seinfeld saying he can’t get a fair shake in life. The worst was when Mario Chalmers drew an offensive foul on KG and Tommy Heinsohn cried, “He’s ACTING!” Yeah, you’ve been watching Paul Pierce play on this team for a dozen years and you’re complaining about somebody acting? … Is there a single guy on his team D-Wade wouldn’t have traded to get Caron Butler? Tough Juice showed how you’re supposed to play an elimination game, hitting the Spurs for 35 points and 11 boards on 12-of-24 shooting with zero turnovers. It didn’t even matter that Dirk had a modest 15 points; the Mavs still won in a rout to make the series 3-2, San Antonio … It was like the Lakers took a collective look in the mirror before last night’s Game 5 against the Thunder and vowed to start fresh. Ron Artest cut his hair off, Pau Gasol cut his hair short, and Phil Jackson cut Derek Fisher a break by finally deciding to have Kobe guard Russell Westbrook. Without Westbrook penetrating the defense at will, OKC’s offense hit a brick wall. Meanwhile, L.A. made a point to work the ball inside — apparently just realizing Gasol (25 pts, 11 rebs) and Andrew Bynum (21 pts, 11 rebs) are better than any of OKC’s bigs — and getting the shots they wanted closer to the rim rather than jacking threes. Really feels like a “back to normal” vibe was established in the series … We’re out like Del Negro …

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  • http://www.nba.com Jay

    Anybody see Mbenga on the bench? With his orange suit, glasses, and yellow hair??

  • tp

    cavs celtics is gonna be a good series
    lakers got serious
    no mention of curry for ROY? blasphemous.
    kobe takes only 1 shot deep into the first quarter and they jump out to a big lead… if that same thing happened and they were down a lot, imagine the criticism!

  • tp

    lebron has often acted like a ledouche, but i can let him slide for his FT….. for now.

  • Donaghy

    all i got to say i have not seen such a bad ref game in a long time as the one of the cavs bulls talk about just giving the game to the cavs the shaq fouls n the non calls for rose … then u cant even say nothing about the refs man what abput freedom of speech maybe if the ref hear ir they will actually do a decent job…hope david stern dosent fine me 35,000

  • D.I. Dollar

    The Lakers spanked the kids like they should have been doing all along. I was hoping for a 40 piecing but they made thier point. No disrespect because OKC has all the potential in the world and when they get that one last piece and they are going to be REAL dangerous.

    The Cavs – Bulls was a good game until the refs decided to use thier whistles to give Lebron and Co. the game. Now the Bulls execs can get on a flight to Miami and start the D Wade courting. They’ll be aight.

    What a dick move by Lebron shooting that free throw lefty. It just went to show that he’s no Kobe Bryant. If your going to milk an injury and shoot with your off hand, you better make the shot. And if he was too injured to shoot the free throw properly, why was he on the court 5 seconds later playing defense. What coach in his right mind allows thier superstar player to play injured in a game that is almost over? Just plain stupid.

  • TheBrute

    Too bad about that Heat team. I;m looking forward to seeing what Riley is going to do!

    Watch out for the Thunder in game 6…

    I’ve got a nickname for Ginobili…

    ‘The Maestro’

    Spread the word lads…

  • PDiddle

    I’d call Baby’s dance the ‘Double Thick Choco Milk Shake.’

    Props to Kobe for staying focused and doing whatever it takes to win. We all have a bit of Butch from ‘Pulp Fiction’ in us. Instead of trading blows with the younguns, feed the bigs and rest the legs.

  • sh!tfaced

    Doesn’t Manu remind you of fellow actor Jack Nicholson in Chinatown?

  • Swedish Mooze

    Could this be the worst loss ever? Huge 3 with 0.6 left… then…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/27/kk-partizan-stuns-cibona_n_553633.html

    Croatian basketball team Cibona Zagreb had a rough loss in the NLB (Adriatic Basketball Assoc.) Championship game against Serbian team KK Partizan.

  • That’s What’s Up

    Tough Juice? Game 2, 6-17 for 17 points. Game 3, 1-3 for 2 points. Game 4, 7-18 for 17 points. Last night, good game but he took 24 shots, 10 more than Diggler.
    I want this dude to shoot a lot in Game 6. Please Juice, do not pass the rock.

  • That’s What’s Up

    check out comment 13 on this smack
    http://dimemag.com/2010/04/brandon-roy-is-gonna-fight/#comments
    I had a feeling…

  • TJ

    The “bad call” on Noah was real simple: he put both hands/forearms on Shaq. Watch it again if you can, the call comes as soon as he put his right hand on Shaq’s back (his left forearm was already on him).

  • Magicman

    Lebron labron douche prick. Whatever you call him. He’s just a plane ass. When he wins he rubs it in peoples face with his childishature antics. And when he loses he’s a sore loser, kicking chairs and not being sportsmanlike.

    It’s a sham he will never get the respect from the fans like Jordan did.

  • jimmhumm

    Yeah the noah call was good. You cant initiate contact with a player. Just because shaq is strong doesn’t mean jack. When he crab dribbles they start to anticipate the bang and hit him first.

    LBJ was hurt get over it. Rose missed a lot of close shots in the last span of time. Them jokers just got beat.

    Swade ain’t going to chicago. SOmebody else is coming to him. Joe Johnson on the other hand is going to chi-town.

  • Dapro

    Those calls against Miller was bs plain and simple. The Noah call was bs too! You can’t change how your going to ref a series 5 games in, that’s poor officiating. Either call those fouls in game 1 or let them play physical. Props to Bulls for playing hard and staying with the Cavs. I personally never thought Del Negro was a good hire but he deserves to keep his job especially after the Paxton fiasco.

  • http://www.SoulChorea.com Kermit The Washington

    @ That’s What’s Up:

    Ha! Good call…that was definitely a major problem. Now Mbenga is stuck by himself lookin’ like a dummy hahah

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    No mention of future legend Michael Beasley’s superb game last night to save the Heat from elimination? Well, on second thought maybe next season… Or the season after that… Or the season after that… Or the season after that… Or…

  • JJ

    Is leborn listed as day to day with an arm injury now?

  • control

    The reffing in the NBA is in a SAD SAD state right now. It really makes me not watch this shit. After watching some NHL playoffs, it’s just amazing how pussified the NBA is. The players and the refs are just the biggest pussies around, in the NHL you see guys taking hits that would straight out KILL an NBA player and he just gets up and gives it back. Inbetween every play in the NHL, you see guys mixing it up in ways that would get a guy tossed, fined and suspended half a season in the NBA. Why is the NBA turning into such a pussy league?

    Dime, you called Beasley a “superstar in training”…you guys really have to evaluate that word “superstar” and quit tossing it around like you do. There ain’t no “superstar” who has ever played as bad as SuperBeas has in the play offs, ever. The guy is a borderline bust. Also, there ain’t no “superstar” who is a guard and shoots less than 60% from the free throw line, not mentioning no names, just sayin…quit being so reckless with the term “superstar”.

  • RC

    Thunder needs to regroup and come up with a game plan.

  • Otto

    I was thinking about this last night. Going into game 6, how will the Thunder adjust offensively to Kobe guarding Westbrook? Will they expose Fisher’s height now that he has to guard Green? Or will they run a lot more off the ball plays for Westbrook? Would that curtail their dribble penetration game plan?

  • Ian

    people dont make a big deal outta nothin. who cares about that freethrow???

  • Del

    I’m not even a miami fan and I thought the refs just blatantly gave that game to the cavs. Bs game to watch

  • http://www.myspace.com/nukkyg Grissy

    “Here’s a question for Tommy Heinsohn; If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, is it still a foul on the Heat?” – Brent Barry

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    @Ian

    I agree. A whole lot of nothing about that free throw. But it’s Lebron. This guy can take a shit and to most people it’s the next big thing. This site will be unvisitable (as will most mainstream ball sites) if Lebron goes to NY. In fact, I just may give up on the NBA all together.

  • richard from cleveland

    im not being a homer but y do u guys say lebron is being a douche for shooting with his left hand? he said his elbow was felt numb nobody said anything bad when kobe 1st broke his finger & was shooting left handed most people here are lebron haters i guess that comes with being great

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    MIAMI/BOSTON
    What happened to Beasley???

    …and QRich and JO and Arroyo and Udonis and Dorrell and Joel and…????
    DISAPPEARING ACT PULLING MUTHAF****S!!!

    CLEVELAND/CHICAGO
    Lebron’s And-1 where he bumped Noah in midair sending Noah to the 3 row behind the basket was something Lebron wanted to do the entire series. He basically said: “Git da f*** outta here young bol”

    Shout outs to Ian Eagle who had the “Marv” assignment.
    Best call of the game:

    STUTTER STEP.
    OHHHHHHHH!!!!
    THAT.
    IS.
    SPECIAL.
    DERRICK ROSE GOING TO THE CUP.

    He just called it like it was.
    The ambiguity and impromptu explosion of emotion in Ian’s voice make this “play-by-play” genius. Why?

    As a listener, you’re not sure if the “stutter step” was special. Or the overall take was special. Or Rose is special. Or Rose going to the cup is special. But the play-by-play call worked on all levels. Why?

    ‘Cause you can’t argue with it!

    After those 2 quick BS fouls, I wonder what the play-by-play was on Brad Miller’s spoken words.

    SA/DALLAS
    Some teams just aint showing up on the road.
    Aint feeling that.

    LA/OKC

    Was this Ron Artest’s best all-around game this season???

    I think so. 50 clip on 3s. 55 clip period. Boards, Steals, Blocks, NO TURNOVERS…awesome D…some dimes…I think I can answer my own question.
    Yes.

    *Shout out to the Bullz by the way. Rose and Deng be ballin!! Noah’s maddddd active, you gotta love it. I think it’s safe to say Vinnie coached this group up real good because they were lacking talent but put up a fight to the end.

  • http://dime eyes

    If you read the the beggining of this Smack you’d understand why coaches,fans & players get technicals. The foul on Brad Miller to get DQ was to funny. The foul assesed to Taj Gibson for his 6th was even funnier on Bron. Just watch the players reactions when a whistle is blown. They’re like I know there’s politics but come on. What’s the point of playing(You make a lot of $$$ they dont earn LOL) While people make more than them or still profit from doing nothing.

    Also Lebron’s elbow looked pretty good in the conference. His damn jerk he has in his free throw looks like it hurt the elbow more than the fall. He called it an elbow stinger. When he fell he landed on the left elbow. The best way to stop whats going on. Is the people who benefit most from the whistle. Call the reason on it out. You cannot win a game period if the officials aren’t on your side.

    The Lakers/Thunder game was over in the 1st few minutes. The Thunder and all fans who are against the Lakers knew what time it was. I turned my screen off when it was 10-0. The refs were looking at OKC like your not home young fella’s. Slow your roll.

    The playoffs are the worse time to cheat. BECAUSE EVERYONE IS WATCHING. THE MORE BLATANT THE MORE FANS STOP WATCHING. Would you want to gain & the lose of others. Also the way Kobe & Lebron react to calls agaisnt them. How many players in the league can get away with that? The way the feel is minor & in so few instances. Imagine how all the other players,coahces & fans feel the whole season,playoffs,finals. Heck all these years. If they feel cheated when the whistle is blown on them. They’re never DQ or rarely have the whistle go against them. Imagine being on that other side. NOT FAIR AT ALL.- LIFE (People have made it that way.

    As a player to be politically correct go with a coach or player that is in that group. If Melo played with Bron,Kobe or Wade he wouldn’t be penalized for offensive fouls.

  • stupid

    i bet all of you lbj wouldn’t be shaking anyone’s hand with his left hand again come this may

  • fallinup

    I said it once, and I’ll say it again. It ain’t the refs. It’s the rules. Let teams play some goddamn defense already!

  • control

    fallinup

    I don’t disagree with you, the rules are extremely pussified, but if it were just 100% the rules, then why do the refs “interpret” the rules differently for different players? If the rules were the rules were the rules, then there wouldn’t be “superstar” calls and that bullshit.

  • LakeShow84

    I dont care about the FT.. dude was hurt oh well..

    Millers fouls on Shaq?? BULLSHIT..

    Noah’s foul on Shaq?? Ehhhh i can see it i guess.. but since when has Shaq gotten that much love?? oh yeah he signed with the Cavs..

    My biggest gripe??

    That was CLEARLY a 3pt play that wouldve given the Bulls the lead.. and there aint no getting around it.. they even stopped the play so they couldve discussed that.. bigups to Reggie Miller for REPEATING that on air..

    A young road team playing arguably the best team in basketball doesnt need EARNED points wiped away like that..

    NBA can be so fucking disgusting it aint even funny..

  • LakeShow84

    @ Fallinup

    Its the rules that ALLOW the refs to put their finger prints all over the game..

    They want to control it so they can make it more “more entertaining”.. listen to everything David Stern has ever said regarding basketball as a sport and he talks about it from an “entertainment” standpoint..

    This aint entertainment this is fuckin competetive sports..

    But yet the shit is almost wrestling nowadays.. fake ass flops earning calls.. Defenders over-exaggerating contact from off arms for offensive fouls.. all this to SELL something to the refs.. Superstars getting touch fouls on one end but then hacking away at the other end..

    So wack..

  • My Favorite Superhero

    Okay Dime, what the deuce!?!!!! Am I the only guy who couldn’t access the site for the last 3 days!?!?!!! WTH happened?!!!!??? It’s bad enough Comcast cut off my free cable, Dime was down and I had no way of getting my basketball news!!! Get it together Dime!!!

  • K Dizzle

    If Shaq got those calls whil he was out west, he’d have like 3 more rings…just sayin.
    Thunder couldn’t hit anything last night, but I know Durant’s a beast cuz even with a 29 point lead with lots of time left, I was still stressin whenever dude hit a j cuz he could bring a team back on his own. My boy was sayin to look out cuz Kobe was gonna drop 50 before gametime, but I hadda straighten him out. Kobe’s hurt way worse than they lettin on. Only chance we got to keep goin is to throw it inside like last night and let the bigs just bulldoze. Of course if Pau and AB did what they did in games 1 and 5 in games 3 and 4, this series would be a wrap.

    One last question – Denver fans! What’s the happs?

  • lex

    does anyone else think ref’s calls these days are getting ridiculous… makes the games boring to watch…

  • Claw

    Hatin on Lebron because he shot a FT left handed? Big conspiracy, his right elbow hurt, end of story. Wasn’t shooting from the outside and didn’t take many shots so something was wrong.

    Something is up with Kobe. Offensively he’s been off but its his D that blew that game up last night. Attack Fish on the offensive end,and why did it take Phil 4 games to figure out their frontline was superior? Or is that Kobe’s fault?

  • http://www.getbuckets.anywhere.com Chicagorilla

    Really…Really…is this what the NBA is trying to sell me? Is this the kind of lasting legacy Stern wants to have. Is he really trying to be the man who ruined basketball? The last two years have been insulting to true basketball fans. Somone who wants the team playing the best at the time to win the game.

    Lets just say if Larry Bird was born in the late 80′s and played in today’s NBA with these rules and the same basketball mind… he would be the greatest athlete ever! Stern would make sure of that. Bird dominated a real basketball era, i could only imagine what he’d do today.

  • http://www.getbuckets.anywhere.com Chicagorilla

    @Lakeshow

    Man, you hit it on the head. I feel like i’m watching the WWE. I’m waiting on Ric Flair to challenge Stern to a cage match.

    I’ve been watching old DVDs of Jordan and old film of Magic/Bird/Zeke/Hakeem to make sure that what i watched then is for real. It seems that the “Superstar” calls that were supposedly given to Jordan is false. He got his a$$ kicked all threw the 80′s and early 90′s. After his first chip (and after Magic and Bird were done) its seems as though he was respected more so if there was a 50/50 call, Jordan almost always got the call. not so much for Pippen, Barkley, Hakeem, Nique, Ewing, or the rest of the guys.

    But… a few of the “Dealings” in the 80′s and maybe the 70′s looks like they were set up. The Celtics return to glory after the Bill Russell years is a little disturbing. The Lakers also got some questionable trades and drafts that makes the Pau Gasol trade seem fair(James Worthy and Byron Scott/La and Larry Bird/Robert Parish/Kevin McHale/Len Bias for Bos)

  • nao_diga

    I’m a Cleveland homie, but Chicago’s got beef on the second half refereeing. Not so much on the Rose continuation–refs get that call wrong from time to time, but the 3 fouls in 30 seconds on Miller and NOah were crazy.

    The way the refs call games can vary from one game to the next, and NBA players have to adjust to it–that goes with the game. But something that has been a no-call for 2-1/2 or 3 quarters shouldn’t suddenly become a foul three times in 30 seconds in the second half of a close game. That’s just wrong.