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LeBron James blocks Tiago Splitter dunk in nasty fashion (Video)

LeBron James Tiago SplitterLeBron James absolutely ruined Tiago Splitter on an amazing block during the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

The Spurs had the ball with the shot clock winding down and ran a pick and roll between Tony Parker and Splitter. Parker passed to Splitter, who was going down the lane, and it looked like Splitter would have a wide open dunk. But LeBron left Kawhi Leonard down low and came out of nowhere to swat Splitter’s dunk like a volleyball player stuffing an opponent at the net. It was absolutely a thing of beauty, and one of those plays that will remain on LeBron’s highlight reel forever.

LeBron followed up the block by assisting on a Ray Allen three, and then by stealing the ball and dunking ferociously on a fastbreak to force the Spurs into a timeout.

What was LeBron thinking on that play?

“Protect the rim,” LeBron told ABC’s Doris Burke. “Tony hit him with a great pocket pass, and Splitter had a runway to the rim. I was jut like, ‘Hey, just make a play. You haven’t done much offensively, so just try to change the game some way defensively. I was happy I was able to get a good block.”

LeBron also had a block on Tim Duncan during the first quarter that was impressive, but nowhere near as amazing as the Splitter block:

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Juwan Howard, Heat coach try to spook Danny Green on 3 (Video)

Danny GreenDanny Green was so hot during Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday that some distractions from the opponent’s bench couldn’t even prevent him from making shots.

Late in the second quarter of the game, Green received a pass in the corner and attempted a three. Right when he caught the ball and spotted up to shoot, the Heat’s Juwan Howard, who was inactive for the game, and assistant coach David Fizdale both yelled something and made a movement towards the shooter. It didn’t work; Green made the shot and actually went 6-for-6 including 5-for-5 on threes to start the game.

Howard also reportedly had some words for Lebron James when the Heat star was quiet during the third quarter, which likely inspired his play. Despite being inactive, Howard is still trying to impact the games.

Video via Eye on Basketball

LeBron James gives funny math lesson after Game 1 (Video)

LeBron JamesLeBron James may not have been happy after the Miami Heat lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs 92-88 on Thursday, but he still was able to keep it somewhat loose in his postgame news conference.

While appearing before the media after the game, James began scanning the stat sheet to analyze where the Heat went wrong in Game 1. That’s when he noticed what appeared to be an error when it came to the Spurs’ second-chance points.

“I was looking at the stat sheet, and it says that they had 21 second-chance points,” a puzzled James noted. “I don’t really understand how that is possible with only six offensive rebounds. I’m very good in math.

“The only way you can get a second-chance point is if you can get an offensive rebounds, right? Am I correct? So even if you hit a three off of six offensive rebounds, that’s still only 18 points. So I don’t understand how that works. But we had chances.”

Even as the next question was being asked, James was still stuck on the second-chance points puzzle.

“Yeah, that’s kind of weird. I don’t understand. Am I right or am I wrong? That’s crazy.”

Based on the way James was describing the stat sheet, he was right. But forget all that. The only stats that matter are 1-0 — as in the Spurs are up 1-0; 0-4 as in Chris Bosh’s 3-pointer stats; and 8-25 as in the Heat’s 3-point stats.

San Antonio played great defense, filled the paint, and discouraged James from going inside. They forced the Heat to take a bunch of threes, and the plan worked. Miami needs to worry about correcting that.

Tony Parker beats shot clock buzzer on clutch basket (Video)

Tony Parker was a star for the San Antonio Spurs in their 92-88 win over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, and he made a controversial, clutch shot in the final seconds of the game.

The Heat had closed the gap and made it a two-point game in the final 30 seconds after LeBron James made two free throws. San Antonio got the ball for the next possession and Parker was absolutely harassed by Miami. He kept dribbling and dribbling and everywhere he looked he and his teammates were covered by Heat players. With the shot clock ticking down, Parker jumped off his pivot foot and threw in a bank shot. The basket gave San Antonio a 92-88 lead with 5 seconds left, essentially icing the game.

But did he get the shot off in time? This freeze frame from ABC shows that he did:

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Roy Hibbert walks off court without shaking hands after Game 7 (Video)

Roy Hibbert was one of the biggest reasons the Indiana Pacers sent the Eastern Conference finals to a seventh game, and he’s also one of the biggest reasons why they were blown out in the decider.

Hibbert had 18 points and eight rebounds in his team’s 99-76 Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat, but he wasn’t a huge factor in the game. He fouled out in the fourth quarter and had to sit key minutes after picking up his third foul with 1:12 left in the first half, and his fifth foul with 2:09 left in the third quarter. He was replaced by Ian Mahinmi to end both quarters.

Hibbert was also the biggest topic of conversation prior to Game 7 after he was fined $75,000 by the league on Sunday for cursing at the media and dropping a “no homo.”

As time expired in Game 7, Hibbert bolted into the tunnel to the locker room while the rest of his teammates and coaches stuck around to congratulate the Heat and shake hands. George Hill, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and coach Frank Vogel were among the Pacers seen shaking hands with Heat players while Hibbert was in the locker room.

David West was the other notable Pacers player who did not shake hands with the Heat. According to the Indianapolis Star’s Mike Wells, that is because West considers himself an old school player who is not friends with his opponents.

Hibbert had a different reason for not shaking hands. He told Wells that he is not close with those players and he did not want to ruin their moment.

“I know some of our guys have played on teams with some of them, but I don’t know them personally,” Hibbert explained to The Star. “It was their moment because they won. I have tremendous respect for them, but I don’t know any of those guys personally and I didn’t want to interrupt their moment.”

Is that a lame or legit excuse? That seems like a lame excuse to me for a guy who was a big goat going into the game. It seemed to me like Hibbert just wanted to leave all the negativity behind him as soon as possible, so he slunk out of the arena.

Even though the way he ended his season was disappointing, Hibbert should at least take comfort knowing that he has plenty of company. LeBron James pulled a similar stunt in 2009, Russell Westbrook did it in 2011, and the Celtics’ top players have done blown off handshakes two years in a row.

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Paul George to Mario Chalmers: ‘stop flopping’ (Video)

Paul George stop floppingPaul George had a message for Mario Chalmers after the Miami Heat guard tried flopping on him during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Indiana Pacers forward was dribbling beyond the 3-point line and deciding what he would do. As he backed up into Chalmers, Chalmers flopped, giving George a wide open look. George took the three and made it to put Indiana up 17-15 in the first quarter. Chalmers didn’t get the call from the refs, but he heard it from George on the Heat’s trip up the floor.

“Stop flopping!” George barked at Chalmers. “Stop flopping! Flopping a– n—–.”

Flopping has been a huge issue throughout the series. Lance Stephenson flopped on Ray Allen in Game 4, and then LeBron James and David West were fined for flopping on the same play in Game 4. And in Game 6, LeBron James, who said in the past that he doesn’t flop, flopped on George. This time it was James’ teammate flopping on George. Maybe the players will be less inclined to flop if they’re not getting the calls.

H/T Mike P

Roy Hibbert to media: Y’all motherf—ers don’t watch us during regular season

Roy HibbertRoy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers have viewed themselves as outsiders trying to knock off the heavily-favored Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. They definitely have that “us against the world” mentality, and nobody exemplifies that attitude more than Hibbert.

Hibbert went for 24 points and 11 rebounds in the Pacers’ 91-77 win over the Heat on Saturday, and after the game he took the opportunity to blast the media for supposedly disrespecting him and his team.

One media member asked Hibbert why he finished so low in Defensive Player of the Year voting, and he gave a profane response.

“You finished only 10th in [Defensive] Player of the Year voting. How do you think that’s possible when you alter so many shots?” he was asked.

“I mean, you know what? Cuz y’all motherf—ers don’t watch us play throughout the year, to tell you the truth,” Hibbert said. “Alright? So that’s fine, you know. I’m going to be real with you, and I don’t care if I get fined. We play, we’re not on TV all the time. Reporters are the ones that are voting. It is what it is. And if I don’t make it, that’s fine. I’m still going to do what I have to do.”

While I appreciated the fire Hibbert showed in that response, some say that his point is inaccurate. Their evidence is that his teammate Paul George won Most Improved Player, which is also voted on by the media. But I disagree, because it’s easy to see George’s ascendance just by looking at his stats, whereas you need to really watch them play to see Hibbert’s full defensive value.

Hibbert also had another questionable moment in his press conference. The Pacers center said “no homo” after one comment. “No homo” is a street saying people use when they recognize they said something that could be interpreted as homosexual, so they say “no homo” to clarify that that’s not how it was intended. “Pause” is a phrase that means the same thing, and we have seen other NBA players use that expression, too.

You can hear his comment in the video below:

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