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LeBron did foul Paul George on final shot but there was no call (VIDEO)

Dec 19, 2013, 10:52 AM EDT

LeBron James didn’t do anything blatant here — he didn’t go for the ball or hit the shooters’ elbow — but make no mistake:

He fouled Paul George on the game’s final shot.

Despite some protestations of Pacers’ players there was no call and the Heat got a 97-94 win Wednesday night.

George did a nice job to weave around LeBron and get in position to receive the pass and get a clean look at the shot. LeBron is trailing him but puts his hand on his hip — just a subtle push can throw off a shooter’s balance enough to make him miss the shot. There is clearly contact there.

Paul embellishes and tries to sell it, but he was fouled. He has a right to be pissed.

This is not what cost the Pacers the game — the live-ball turnovers that led to easy Miami transition points, the inability to control Dwyane Wade, Roy Hibbert‘s foul trouble were all much bigger factors. As a former coach of mine said, if you don’t make the plays earlier in the game and you leave it in the hands of the refs, you get what you get.

Still, LeBron got away with one.

Hat tip to Ben Golliver at SI for the video.

  1. doc305 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    The refs were awful the entire game, on both end of the floor. That phantom flagrant foul on Battier was an absolute joke ( it was called back, but how could they call that a flagrant and not even call a personal foul on all those elbow that West was throwing, he seriously looked like a school yard bully out there with Battier) . It’s sad when the refs feel the need to be seen in games.
    PG definitely got separation from Lebron on that last play, but he was already drifting before Lebron made any contact, he was not going straight up on that shot..

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      He wasn’t going straight up, so it’s okay to not call a foul? Huh?

  2. bidetsfordays - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Blatant*

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Coming from a huge Lebron and Heat fan, by the definition of a foul, he did foul George.

      I don’t understand all this nonsense about superstar calls, calls on the road and end of game no-calls. A foul is a foul. The only situation I understand is a ticky tack foul not being called on the floor in the final seconds but George was in the act of shooting.

      • miamatt - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        A foul there would have been ticky-tack defined.

        Still, in Indy George might get that call.

  3. misremembered72 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Agreed a game shouldn’t be blamed on the refs when it comes down to a last play like that, however that seemed like an easy call for the ref on the bottom of the screen who has the perfect angle and is staring directly at PG without any visual interference.

    This is the NBA though, for me this has always been the worst officiated of the major sports so I’m not blown away or angry by a missed call in December.

    • heat256 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      You obviously haven’t watched the NFL this year. That officiating is borderline laugh out loud absurd.

  4. jj871 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Who was the ref?

    Oh ya, that’s right, it was Joey Crawford. Enough said.

    • highpowered350 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      http://s65.photobucket.com/user/Highpowered350/media/Bb0MIJnIgAAbSyw_zpsa40f363d.jpg.html

      Coach: Did Lebron just step out ?

      Crawford: What?

      Coach: Did Lebron just step out ?

      Crawford: Had a bad angle, Couldn’t tell ya

    • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      One of the last remaining Stern bag men. He can’t retire soon enough…

  5. heat256 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Nothing to see here. Fans on both sides of every team can pick plays out of games where they feel their guys got fouled and no calls made. It’s well-known the home team usually gets calls tilted in their favor. Was it a foul? Yep. Was it enough to warrant a call on the last play of the game? Nope. The Pacers lost because they just couldn’t execute down the stretch and Hibbert’s foul trouble screwed their interior defense up.

    • hollywood26 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      I’m not a fan of either team but don’t pretend that Lebron didn’t commit a foul. Had Lebron been the one shooting what do you think the chances are that was called?

      What bothers me is it seemed the refs changed the way they called fouls in the 3rd and 4th to allow the heat a chance (which the heat TOOK, not were given). Almost like Stern wants to make this a rivalry by having each win on their home court

      • heat256 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        Pacers shot more free throw attempts, Heat had more fouls. I clearly stated it was a foul. If LeBron is shooting it at home the chances are good. On the road, probably less than 50%. Drumming up the tired, old “Stern conspiracy” crap is not even worth mentioning. You’re intimating that it was the ref’s fault the Heat lost at IND, which was laughable as they Heat clearly didn’t make the plays required to win on the road. You gotta do better than that.

      • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        I had to educate Laker fans last decade, so I guess it’s Heat fan’s turn.

        It’s not about the calls. It’s about the NO calls. The NBA used to use a simple FT disparity, but after Dallas got 50 and 49 FTs in games against SA years ago, that became too obvious. They simply let one team foul al LOT without too many calls, based on time and score. It’s easy and leaves no “tracks in the sand”, so to speak.

    • borderline1988 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      He did get fouled, but the chances of him making that shot otherwise was very small. It’s sort of hard to hit 3pointers when you’re in the air drifting laterally.

      The Heat won this game b/c of Hibbert’s foul trouble. That pretty much sums it up. The Heat still have no answer for Hibbert and West, and honestly, they need to hope that Indiana makes mistakes (i.e. turnovers turning into layups, or getting their bigs into foul trouble) because if Indiana is at the top of its game, it will beat the Heat

      • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        Hmmm. Hibbert in foul trouble. Imagine that.

      • anjohn39 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        Its a hard shot for you but not for Nba High level players. P/G can hit that and so can Durant. The problem I have is that this was obvious especially when you watch it on replay. P/g created great space and lebron was actually holding P/g with his left hand and them managed to put his other right hand on his P/G waist. When P/G shoots lebron has his hands around his waist and even gives him a lil push

      • borderline1988 - Dec 20, 2013 at 9:53 AM

        It is absolutely a hard shot for NBA players.

        George is a career 37% 3pt shooter. That’s an average %. On a scrambling play in which George is not even close to being set – he grabs the ball on the run in traffic, and rises up while drifting forward and laterally from 3pt range – he’s lucky if he makes that shot 20% of the time.

        At the end of the day, it was a foul, and Lebron should have been called. Lebron got lucky – that’s how it goes sometimes.
        But don’t blame this loss on the refs…it is very unlikely George would have hit that shot regardless. The Pacers need to keep Hibbert in the game to beat the Heat, they should be worrying about that instead.

    • yankees218 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      Are you serious? Was is enough to warrant a call on the last play of the game? Did you see the Knicks/Pacers game when Shump “fouled” George on the last play of the game. Don’t kid yourself. It wasn’t called because it was LeBron. Don’t be foolish to think otherwise.

      • heat256 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        So the ref called the three early fouls on LeBron for what? To throw off the rest of us dopes while guys in the know like you know the real truth? Throughout history superstars always get preferred calls. I know you’re sore because there are no Knick superstars worthy of that kind of treatment, but be real here. The Pacers lost the game on their own. They didn’t need any officiating help.

  6. woodyc - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    The NBA is not much different than the WWE, only the WWE openly admits that matches are scripted. I would have more respect for the NBA if they just came out and admitted that the refs rig games.

  7. rodge1 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    I enjoyed watching George cry to the refs the whole game.

    • bougin89 - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      Lebron cries as much as anyone to the refs. If you call out George you have to call out Lebron.

      • stormhound420 - Dec 22, 2013 at 6:10 AM

        Nah everyone else does enough of that, is good to see someone else called out for it occasionally. As for the play itself, Lebron barely touched the guy, ref’s almost never let a close game like that be decided on the free throw line unless it’s almost a flagrant. Get over it.

      • bougin89 - Dec 23, 2013 at 9:42 AM

        I thought the no call was the correct call, I have no need to “get over it”.

  8. golfrangeman - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Could have been called but it didn’t look like it effected the shot and if he was 2 feet from the basket would it ever be called,I think not. P.G did an acting job earlier in the game on a D.Wade head brush. Refs remember, they probably felt it wasn’t significant.

  9. jbeagles23 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Yea and if the heat are at the top of their game a when the pacers are at the top of theirs they will beat the pacers. The pacers are trying to take a moral victory out of taking the heat to 7 games last year

  10. jbeagles23 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    And maybe if George didn’t try and embellish the foul he could have got the call. Shoot the ball to make it, not get bailed out

    • bougin89 - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Correct. George should have shot it to make it instead of flopping to make it look worse. This is the NBA now, I guess. Almost everyone flops too much. Few players actually play through contact.

  11. losanginsight - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    It’s good to see that the refs are in playoff form. The formula to beat the Pacers is to get Roy in early foul trouble and let LBJ get away with fouls. The refs were successful.

    • stormhound420 - Dec 22, 2013 at 6:13 AM

      wah?
      or is boo hoo?
      sounds more like WAAAAAHHHHH!

  12. eagles512 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    I’m glad they let it go since he embellished

    • yankees218 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      Oh please, LeBron is the biggest flopper in the league.

      • sportsfan18 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        just use your OWN eyes folks. there are MANY you tube videos showing LeBron flopping.

        just Google that stuff. you’ll see him flopping around (again, with your OWN eyes) like a fish out of water.

        not a bad thing to do when you need/want a laugh.

  13. rodge1 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    @yankees218

    No, it was called on Shump because the Knicks suck.

  14. miamatt - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Was there contact? Yup.

    But as far as fouls go it was weak, and Paul George is not going to get that call on the road against LBJ, period. George should have been more focused on making the shot, rather than drawing the foul.

    If you flip things around, and imagine LBJ badly missing a game-tying 3-pointer in the last few seconds and looking around for a call, he would be roundly criticized for whining and looking for the refs to bail him out. Because that’s what a call at that moment would have been: a bailout.

    Also, let’s put to bed the notion that the Pacers play “clean” while Miami flops and complains all over the floor. George and Stephenson can flop with the best of them, and Vogel is all over the refs all game. The Heat flop, complain, and work the refs all game as well, I’m just saying let’s stop acting like they are the only team to do it.

    • davidly - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      I agree with everything except the implication that George wasn’t focused on making the shot. After he ran around to get the ball in the first place, that’s all he had time to do. Trying to draw a foul? You can’t be serious.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        That’s George’s M.O. It is not the first time that he tried to draw a foul in that situation.

        Remember that game winner LeBron had on the Pacers in the ECF last year? Miami was in that situation because George did the same thing against Wade. The Pacers were down three, George heaved a triple, jerked his head and body back for no reason, and he even started complaining to the ref before he saw if the ball went in (it was an airball). Wade didn’t touch him during the shot, he grazed his arm after the ball left his hand. George made three free throws to tie the game.

        Then PG did it again against Iman Shumpert – exact same scenario, down three points – another airball – more jerking of the head and body by George – but he was barely touched. He made three free throws to tie the game.

        Then George tried to do it again yesterday – down three again – with another airball – and more jerking of the body and head.

        But he has to realize that he’s not going to keep getting those calls. (And also realize that it may be something that some coaching complained to the league office about – so the refs could’ve been expecting it).

      • miamatt - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        @davidly:

        I agree it’s not an open-and-shut case, and it is hardly the most egregious attempt at drawing a foul if if you were to humor me on that. What I saw was a little bit of a leg kick from George in LBJ’s direction, and he flailed his shooting arm on the follow through. To me, it looked like a guy taking an off-balance three trying to make sure that there was contact (and there was) and that the refs noticed the contact. I thought George looked like a guy who knew he just got fouled, and shot accordingly. It’s my opinion, I won’t say I can’t be wrong on this.

    • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      “If you flip things around, and imagine LBJ badly missing a game-tying 3-pointer in the last few seconds and looking around for a call, he would be roundly criticized for whining and looking for the refs to bail him out. ”

      Completely hypothetical scenario. LeBron gets that call 100 times out of 100 if someone hand checks him..

      • anjohn39 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        @ antistratfordian . How did P/G try to draw a foul when he left Lebron james…Lebron was nowhere in sight, he was literally in back of P/G holding him with his left and then his right. P/G was going for a routine open at the top 3 pointer . I can’t understand why people are blind to he fact or they don’t want to see , that LBJ got left and fouled P/G by holding him around his waist . You can tell by the way Lebron tried to walk off really quick and then talks about how great the officiating was all game but during the game ,this guy is crying to refs about calls…..Lebron is great but I just don’t get get him

      • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:20 PM

        How did P/G try to draw a foul when he left Lebron james…Lebron was nowhere in sight, he was literally in back of P/G holding him with his left and then his right.

        He felt someone’s hand on his side – that’s why you see him jerking around when he comes down from his shot – he was exaggerating the contact.

        You will never see that called as a foul in the NBA – you have never seen that called as a foul in the NBA – especially on a last second shot. The defender has to hit the shooter on the arm, or fly into him with his body, or kick him with his legs. Laying your hand on his side is not going to draw a whistle.

        Why is everyone pretending that they’ve ever seen this called as a foul?

    • davidly - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      @miamatt: Appreciate the honesty; so here’s the thing: when it gets to the point where the onus is not on whether or not there was a foul, which we can see from the tape, but instead shifts to whether or not the player getting fouled was at fault, then the game is getting pretty crappy.

      In other words: LBJ’s hand was there. Why? That’s why it’s called a foul. It is a lot easier to see that this particular foul is intentional, but suddenly people talk about whether the miss was the result of the player’s intentionally reacting to it.

      Look at his hand; it goes with the body. It’s a foul. No call. Fine. If it’s a flop when there is no foul, then fine. Pass judgment. But don’t start blaming the guy who gets fouled intentionally.

      • stormhound420 - Dec 22, 2013 at 6:28 AM

        It was a flop. Like antistratfordian says, it’s a bailout. He felt a hand there so he flopped hoping to get a bailout call. The hand there did not affect his shot in any way other then how George reacted to it.

  15. hollywood26 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I ref for a living. Both HS and college (D1) I’m not just whistling dixie here. That was a foul. the problem is that the refs wanted to allow the players to decide the game in their minds so unless it was a flagrant foul they were going to let it go. Unfortunately the result is that a play that “seems minor” affected the outcome. When a player is off his feet we are taught to protect the shooter. Did George exaggerate? Absolutely. Did Lebron having his hand on his hip change his shot? Absolutely. Do a test. Just jump in the air and have someone place their hands around your waist area. That particular area controls your balance, it’s your core. If someone nudges your core you lose balance and that’s what happened. You mean to tell me you think if P George shoots that same shot 10 times minus the hand check (which by the way is a POINT OF EMPHASIS this year in the NBA) he’d miss the entire rim more than once? He didn’t just miss, he missed the whole rim, yet yall think it had no effect?

    Again, I dont like either team and have no dog in this fight. If anything I would lean towards Miami because I’ve know M Beasley since he was a kid.

    • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      You mean to tell me you think if P George shoots that same shot 10 times minus the hand check (which by the way is a POINT OF EMPHASIS this year in the NBA) he’d miss the entire rim more than once? He didn’t just miss, he missed the whole rim, yet yall think it had no effect?

      That’s the point – that’s what he does! He does that to try to convince the refs that he was hit. He airballed against Wade in the same situation last year, he airballed against Shumpert in the same situation this year, he airballed against LeBron yesterday. He was barely touched in all three situations – yet his shots were wild airballs that included him jerking his body around. He’s hoping that missing the rim completely will be more convincing.

      But I don’t know why people are pretending like they’ve ever seen this called as a foul in the NBA in that situation – with the defender behind the player – no contact to the arms, head, or any region above the waist, and barely touching him on his side. That has never been called and never will be called in the NBA.

      • anjohn39 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:00 PM

        What planet are you from . Have you ever played basketball and if so @ what level because your perception is F@cked. LBJ fouled P/G its obvious and simple. Lebron got shook and he was trailing P/G thats why he held him. There been too many examples or situation LBJ always seems to be in when its regarding fouls or momentum change. There’s always like a situation late in the 3rd or 4th there’s a no call for LBJ and the Heat but on the other end they blow the whistle. Let me ask you this in Game 2 of the 2011 finals Heat against Thunder, did Lebron foul durant on his last second shot? Of course he did ..he forearmed pushed Durant and knocked him off balance

      • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:16 PM

        Yes I played basketball and I was awesome – still am, for my age at least.

        Paul George tried to flop for that call. He was angry because he normally gets that whistle when he flops and it didn’t come this time – how shocking!

        LeBron didn’t do anything to bother that shot, George should’ve tried to make it instead of flop around crying for a whistle.

        About Durant – ask KD – he didn’t think he was fouled. It’s a similar situation because LeBron didn’t touch Durant anywhere above the waist. Durant had a perfect look – just like George – completely unobstructed – just missed it.

        The lesson here is that you shouldn’t expect a call if the defender is not hitting a shooter on the arm or head and now throwing his body into the shooter. If it’s just a hand on the side, and not applied with any force to push – no shoving motion – who in the world is going to blow that whistle? No one.

        Another thing is that George’s reaction didn’t match the amount of force LeBron applied with his hand. LeBron had his hand on his waist as if they were dancing partners, yet George flails around like he was hit by Ray Lewis. The refs don’t like that. In fact, George can get fined for that.

      • money2long - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        anti, you’re such a heat apologist. u had a good opportunity here to show otherwise, and you’re still acting like nothing happened.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:42 PM

        Nothing did happen. Haters are just angry – this is par for the course when it comes to LeBron. Mountains out of molehills is standard fare when it comes to King James.

        With him a single pass isn’t just a single pass – it means he lacks killer instinct and will never be as good as Michael Jordan.

        With him a gentle hand on the waist isn’t just a gentle hand on the waist – it’s an egregious missed call that reveals a conspiracy theory.

        If it were the other way around – LeBron taking the shot and complaining and George on defense – you would agree with me completely. You’d say LeBron was trying to flop again when he was barely touched and then he cried like a baby. “Search your feelings, you know it to be true.”

    • stormhound420 - Dec 22, 2013 at 6:32 AM

      No the only affect his hand being there had was what George did PURPOSELY after he felt it there, which was flop like a fish. Lebron’s hand wasn’t “around his waist” it was barely touching his side, Lebron didn’t push or pull or anything else. George didn’t miss the rim because of what Lebron did, he missed the rim because he was so busy trying to sell a foul, instead of trying to make the shot.

  16. antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    You’re not going to get that call with a hand on the hip like that – I’ve never seen that called in that situation. There wasn’t even body contact, or any kind of shove. It probably didn’t help that George was trying to flop for the call, either. Your best bet there would be to try to actually make the shot – not try to get the whistle.

    In any case, the Pacers were fortunate that LeBron was getting bad calls early in the game so they could build up their lead in the first place – his second foul in the first quarter was on a Stephenson flop (that’s fine, since that’s the name of the game sometimes). But that tends to even out over the course of a game.

    • bougin89 - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      “In any case, the Pacers were fortunate that LeBron was getting bad calls early in the game so they could build up their lead in the first place”

      lol. You are a funny, funny person. You honestly think you’re objective? Come back to reality.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        It’s all good. Flopping is part of the game and Stephenson was able to flop LeBron into some early foul trouble. I’m not really worried about that – but the Pacers were fortunate that it happened because it is a very rare occurrance.

      • bougin89 - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Excuses for the Heat again, Mr. unbiased?

      • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:31 PM

        I don’t need an excuse, Miami won the game. What’s the Pacers excuse? “They didn’t call the foul! Waaaaaa!”

      • bougin89 - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        I was fine with the no call at the end. The Pacers lost because they gave it away in the last 3 minutes.

        It’s funny though how you defend anything that Lebron or the Heat do with an excuse.

        “Stephenson was able to flop LeBron into some early foul trouble.”

        That’s a call that gets made all the time. Just say it like it is. It all evens out. Crawford missed Lebron stepping out of bounds(while looking right at his foot) and Lebron got the no call at the end(which I think was correct).

      • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        That’s not an excuse. That’s what happened. And yes, it’s a call that gets made all the time when players flop – I’m aware of that.

  17. toycannoni - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    just another meaningless game….the finals will decide it just like they always do

    bottom line, to blow a 15 point lead in the 4th quarter tells me indy isn’t ready for the bright lights, just like the last 2 years have proven

    dwade stepping up like the champ he is, only proves the heat are indestructable when the big 3 are healthy

    the king kept his team alive, and he led them back to win it….

    there’s a reason he’s the greatest player in the game, 4 mvp’s in 5 years says all you need to know

  18. damaddwebba - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Calling a foul on the shot would’ve been a worst call. Lebron clearly foul’d right after he slipped through the screen which was way before the act of shooting.

    Good non-call as the correct call would have had the same impact on the game.

    • floridascuba1 - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      that’s what I saw too. If a call was to be called, it should be on the ground shooting 2 since heat was in the penalty. Contact was started well before the shooting motion

  19. golfrangeman - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    @spursareold
    I’ll educate you on this. There’s no conspiracy in the NBA, divid stern isn’t telling the refs who to call fouls on. Refs don’t see everything, there human, or maybe they didn’t want to bail out a guy that’s getting a rap for exaggerating calls on last second plays. I’ve said this time and time again you want to stop flopping make the call on what you see not the players reaction and that’s what they did.

  20. cruzan80 - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Star player int he NBA gets away with a blatant foul….what exactly is the news here???

  21. golfrangeman - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    @anjohn
    The refs didn’t feel it effected the shot just like if it was a driving layup. Just because there’s some contact doesn’t mean it caused the miss, obviously you feel differently but guess what your not a ref!! If you want to get into that profession good luck, look forward to seeing you on T.V

  22. ajonesmc931 - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    Wow. Lebron is a joke I will never respect him like I d Kobe or MJ ever. Heat can suck a D (non east fan)

  23. arkansasheat - Dec 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    It is amazing to watch how many times LEBRON got fouled in that game….with no calls. While in the act of shooting….Lebron got pushed, jostled, and plenty of HARD touch fouls in the 1st half of that game with NO calls from the Ref’s.

    Hibbert gets away with murder by the way….against EVERYONE he plays, not just the HEAT. I really don’t get it. He’s no SHAQ. Why soooooo much Referee respect ? What has he proven ?

    Anyway, even if I were to agree with you (I don’t) and Lebron did “touch” foul — I don’t even care. So what ! It all evens out from all the fouls against Lebron & Wade earlier in the game. End of story.

    May the BEST talent win the East.

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