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Players talk about LeBron James’ block on Tiago Splitter

Jun 10, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

MIAMI — It was the defining moment of Game 2, even though by this point the game was pretty well in hand for the Heat. LeBron James went up and shut down Tiago Splitter at the rim, a lot of the players were buzzing about it after the game.

LeBron James: “Just wanted to, I guess, make an impact some way. Offensively it was a struggle for me; couldn’t make a shot, missed lay ups. Some things I’m accustomed to making. So I just wanted to make some plays and try to help our team. And I was able to protect the rim on that one.

“Basically I told myself, you’ll end up on Sports Center where you’re going to get dunked on or you’re going to get a block. Luckily I was on the good side of the Top Ten and the Not So Top Ten.”

Mario Chalmers: “He blocked it. 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. It was a great defensive play.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: “What you like from a competitive standpoint is a lot of players wouldn’t go for that. The risk/reward, and they weigh that right away and 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.

“Obviously you have to have that ability. He and Dwyane always make those plays, knowing there’s a big chance they’ll get dunked on. “

  1. klownboy - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    That block was CRAZY epic. That said, this series has become VERY interesting.

  2. acdc363 - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Twas a gnarly block indeed!

  3. money2long - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    i wasn’t that impressed with the block. tiago made it very easy to block. his movements were predictable . the ball was unprotected. he didn’t even get that high off the ground. talk about a telegraphed dunk. someone with the hand-eye coordination of lebron, im not that impressed, i repeat. but ice play nonetheless.

    • money2long - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      did i say ice ? nice *

      • hehateme2 - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        That block would have broken your wrist puny mortal

      • money2long - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:38 PM

        hahaha @ puny mortal. that made me laugh. it’s the subtle humor that gets ya. unlike the guy cracking jokes on my typo.

    • bcwildcat24 - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      With the stupid argument you just made, the biggest concern for you was the fact that you said it was a “ice” play?! Consider that Lebron was stationary and jumping straight up, and Splitter had a full head of steam. Aren’t you late for a “we hate Lebron” fan club meeting?

      • money2long - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        way to throw in a bland and unnecessary shot at me for the typo. that was weak.

        back to the point.

        my thinking is….

        it was a predictable angle. look at the play. tiago pivots and exposes the ball sooo clearly for an EASY TIMED blocked. he didn’t make any kind of subtle movements to have lebron guess where to go for the block. it was just a, jump up, extend, and push the ball in the opposite direction block. with lebron’s timing and jumping ability, it was easy for him to commit to going for the block. just look at the play again, and see how tiago made it an easy block to have. it looked amazing cause all he did was try to throw it down with more umph seeing lebron ready to leap. he tried to make lebron change his mind about going for it by trying to force it down harder, which made the block look more impressive than it was. tiago did a quick catch and pivot. anyone going for a block will know how to time the jump based on tiago’s basic movements to the rim on that play.

    • mannyfresh209 - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      you were probably thoroughly impressed when Hibbert rejected Carmelo at the rim. Even though the circumstances were reversed: Big man blocks littler player, opposed to littler player blocking big man.

    • bcwildcat24 - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      Yes money2long I did watch the play. Here’s the part of the block that you are completely missing the point on, the part that makes it truly an impressive block, is the fact that Lebron James was jumping straight up, with no momentum. Splitter, meanwhile, had a full head of steam. If most defenders in the league tried that block, their arm would have been bent back and Splitter would have dunked anyway. If you noticed, Lebron’s arm did not move. If you think anyone can block that shot, let somebody try to dunk on you like that. Be sure to show us the X-Ray of your arm afterwards.

      • money2long - Jun 10, 2013 at 5:32 PM

        lebron actually gathered. he moved his right foot and for a leaper, one knows how much that little gathering helps. especially when you’re lebron james. that was all timing. im not missing anything, because the point im making is that i am not impressed. not that it wasn’t good. one can pretty much predict tiago’s movements as soon as he caught the ball. catch, pivot raise, and expose the ball, not even that much above the rim. still, lebron made a great stop.

  4. WatchThis - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Awesome block, but Lebron can’t be hanging out too long down there soaking it up. But, it did get the crew pumped up.

  5. dolphindubs - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:48 PM


    You sir, are an idiot.

    • nobandwagonridersallowed - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      Well said, @Dolphindubs…

      Some people will try so hard to hate that they make themselves sound totally ridiculous. With that being said, this idiot probably rated Hibberts block on Carmelo off the charts… Lebron stopped a grown man who plays the biggest position on the court (Center) in mid air. Oh yeah, and he was coming forward with plenty momentum. That could’ve been anybody and it still would’ve been a great block. Give credit where credit is due, no matter if you like a particular player or team; that’s what real fans of the game do

      • mannyfresh209 - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        He’s the same dude that thought LeBron’s dunk on Jason Terry was an all-timer lol.

    • money2long - Jun 10, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      i dont think i ever commented on the jet crashing .
      why is it that i can’t say im not impressed?
      why must i be sucked into the herd of amazed observers to be sane ? or intelligent ?
      did i say it was a bad play? or did i say i wasn’t impressed based on my judgement of the play? no one ALWAYS sees plays in basketball all the same. meaning, no one is AS amazed as the next guy for every play. for instance, when i would play basketball at a park when i was little, seeing a man dunk the ball was amazement to me. NBA guys probably wouldn’t have been impressed. but the point is, impressions are subjective. and i wasn’t impressed by the block because of the reason i laid out.

  6. patygoat24 - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    The Spurs will take it all on game 5 in San Antonio!

  7. spankygreen - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Must have voted for Mitt Romney with an answer like that….
    I’ll bet if Tiago had dunked on LeBron you would have thought that was the best thing since sliced bread, and you would have been voting for Splitter to just go ahead into the HOF today……………

  8. censormynameandmycomments - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    The block is why Lebron is great. The eight seconds it took him to get down court after the block is why he’s not.

    • mannyfresh209 - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      That made no sense. Lol

      • censormynameandmycomments - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        Let’s try it another way. Say Larry Fitzgerald makes an amazing leaping one handed catch over three defenders at the fifty yard line. He comes down with the ball, but instead of turning and running up field, he turns to the crowd and soaks up the adulation of his amazing catch.

        That’s what Lebron did. He made an amazing block. Then he stood there basking in the awesomeness of what he just did instead of continuing to play the game. He mad the block at the 8:21 mark and didn’t get to the other side of the court until 8:13. Bill Russell wouldn’t have stood there for 8 seconds. Jordan wouldn’t have stood there. Lebron did.

        So Lebron is a great player because he can make great plays. He’s not a great player because of the way he handles making great plays.

      • Kurt Helin - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:33 AM

        Terrible analogy. The Heat raced to the other end and Ray Allen got a three out of it.

  9. phillyphil005 - Jun 10, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Money2Long is right…it was an overrated dunk. I don’t care how much momentum or force you’re coming with…if you are trying to throw down one handed and someone gets their hand on the ball, they will block it or make them lose control of the ball nearly everytime. He would have broke someone’s arm, really? Lol! LeBron is nearly the same size and maybe even stronger than Splitter. It was easy to read for a player like LeBron, and the ball was barely over the rim…LeBron didn’t need to even go high for it, plus we are talking about Tiago freakin Splitter, not a bigtime player or dunker. It took zero courage to challenge a stiff like Splitter at the rim…Spoelstra is another one buying into it cause it was LeBron doing it.

    Good play…highlight worthy, but nowhere near what some are making it to be.

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