NBA Playoffs 2012: LeBron Taking Charge, Players Taking Charges…Random Association Observations

On last night’s TBS telecast of the Pacers-Heat playoff game, play-by-play man Marv Albert was trying to lay out the upcoming schedule of games for the rest of their series and got confused as to what day it was.  Analyst Steve Kerr quickly and deftly offered up the “tag line” the network has been known to use in promoting the Association’s post-season“You know Marv…40 Games In 40 Nights.”

Some NBA thoughts at this point in the playoffs…

1. I just saw a quote this morning.  It is from former U.S. (Utah) Senator Robert Foster Bennett:

“A desire to be in charge of our own lives, a need for control, is born in each of us.  It is essential to our mental health, and our success, that we take control.”

This made me think of LeBron James.

During that Indiana-Miami Game 2 last evening, it was a good thing James is a “five-tool” guy because he was literally playing all five positions.  The “talent” he is surrounded with on South Beach (aside from Dwyane Wade and the currently injured Chris Bosh of course) is arguably worse than he had in Cleveland.  Yet, there he was…playing end-to-end basketball and showing no end to his God-given physical abilities.  He finished with a stat line that only three other players have accumulated in a playoff game over the last twenty-five years.  28 points, 9 rebounds, 6 steals, 5 assists.

His last shot attempt from the field was with 3:35 left in the game.

How can that be?

LeBron, if you want to be forgiven…if you want to be loved…take control.  Take charge.

2. Speaking of taking charge, we have the annual yakking again about players flopping to draw a call.  I have read in a number of cases people feel the NBA officials have too much on their plate to try to determine when someone is embellishing contact.  I guess NHL officials don’t…

“Rule 64.1 – Diving/Embellishment – Any player who blatantly dives, embellishes a fall or a reaction, or who feigns an injury shall be penalized with a minor penalty under this rule.”

As I suggested back during one of my college b-ball posts, if we hadn’t complicated the charge call in basketball none of this would be difficult at all to call.  I know in my day we wore knee pads, but we also had no issues with making charge calls.  Your feet were planted and your body was directly in front of the baller.  If he ran over you…charge.  If you were moving in any way…block.  When we started allowing the defender to float along with the ball-carrier, we carried the complexity of the call to a whole new level.  Go back to the old-school rule for charging.  I think you’ll then find those NBA zebras will be able to pick out floppers from fallers…and don’t tell me they can’t separate who’s faking it on establishing position down low.  If they can’t figure that out, maybe the league needs to get some new blood at that position rather than all these thirty-year “veterans.”  Make it a personal foul, award free throws and the ball back…and start keeping track of embellishment calls like technicals.

Once someone reaches a threshold to be determined, have them flop down on their bench for a game or two.

3. The regular-season ratings are in and they are up.  Interest is high.  Anything to do with the fact the season started at Christmas instead of Halloween?  A number of high-profile players have been injured both in the regular and the post-season.  There are those who will pin this on the compressed schedule.  I think most fans “join” the NBA on Christmas Day anyway.  I’d like to see a shorter regular season with the advantage of being planned out well in advance.  David Stern rightly pointed out in an interview the other day existing contracts with television partners, arenas, cities, etc. are all based on the “full” schedule.  Let me channel my inner Allen Iverson here.  “Contracts?  We’re talking about contracts?” I am sure the NBA can find their way to a reduced season if they could be convinced the revenue hit on a fewer number of games can be offset by more ad dollars if audiences continue to grow…especially the youth demographic.  No, I don’t think a smaller season will actually happen.  But I also don’t think this one caused any more injuries than if they had practiced and played their usual three-fourths of a year.

You don’t think being on a court three-fourths of a year increases the possibility of injuries?

4. I don’t know how many folks saw the moving screen foul call on Boston’s Kevin Garnett at the end of their Game 2 playoff against Philadelphia.  There has been so much discussion along the lines of, “You don’t make that call in that situation.”  People (outside of Boston) seem to agree there was indeed a foul…but there is little agreement as to if it should have been announced as such.

If you saw any of Game 7 between the Clippers and the Grizzlies, you could apply that statement to the full forty-eight minutes.

Let’s agree that a foul is a foul no matter what.  That makes it easy for everyone to work with.  And if you have to blow the whistle every five seconds from the opening tap, so be it.  Players will get it…eventually.  The NBA should not be like the offensive line play in the NFL…where holding occurs every down and the league just shrugs its collective shoulders and calls the most egregious ones.

The LA-Memphis finale was a debacle.  It looked like…well…offensive line play in the NFL.  People channel surfing probably thought they had stumbled upon an MMA event without the octagon.

A foul is a foul.  Any other way…is just foul play.

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Doesn't matter who ya cheer for...connect and communicate...you can also find me at http://www.lifeattitudes.com. bruceaburns@comcast.net
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15 Responses to NBA Playoffs 2012: LeBron Taking Charge, Players Taking Charges…Random Association Observations

  1. How many years in a row can we do it? How many consecutive years will we fall for the hype? How many times do we have to say to ourselves, this is the year LeBron finally does it, only to see him disappear late in the fourth quarter.

    Believers harp back to that night he dismantled Detroit, scoring 25 of Cleveland’s last 27 points. We know he can do it. We’ve seen it happen before.

    We’re just all left asking why it hasn’t happened again.

    • Spot on, Chris. We have seen LeBron take over in crunch time. We have seen him demand the ball at game’s end. It’s just hard to fathom he operates 180 degrees from that now…unless he just can’t stand…the Heat.

  2. sports’

    Is there any way you could possibly loan “TO a few dollars as he’s got some acute financial issues ? $75K in back child support owed to the four females who are the mothers of his five children and and the approx $750 ,000 owed to the IRS in back taxes ? Here’s a guy who’s earned over $80 million over the course of his NFL career and he now hasn’t got a pot to #@ss in and a window to throw it out of . Both he and McNabb are hoping to join a team this season . Good luck with that boys . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    The Heat got themselves into a world of trouble with that loss last night . They let the Pacers off the hook .

    The Clippers are proving that playing And-One Basketball doesn’t work against the great teams in the NBA .

    Metta World Peace of the Lakers will now take up residency in Darfur (Sudan) as a goodwill ambassador for the UN .

    • World Peace as UN Goodwill Ambassador. That would indeed be CNN-worthy. He’s not done spreading goodwill in the NBA just yet, however. I am confident he will do at least one more thing before he finally retires that provides him several days off without pay.

      • sportsattitudes

        It’s rumored that as a UN ambassador MWP will be asked to assist in the initiative of searching for landmines in Afghanistan. I’ve no problem with him doing that , just as long as his only form of equipment that will be used is a stick . If that doesn’t work , perhaps he can take up where Lamar Odom has failed and that’s to impregnate a Kardashian ? Lamar somehow not unlike TO can lay the wood and procreate like a rabbit but as of late his game been really off . Private issues or not Odom’s behavior with the Mavericks was juvenile !

        Crazy story about Torri Hunter’s son (17 year old) being embroiled in a multiple sexual assaults and rapes , don’t you think ?

  3. Totally agree with what you said in that #3.

  4. sports’

    Does LeBron , validate parking ? Just in case the next time I’m down on South Beach during the NBA off or postseason and I need to get my car parked at one of those swanky night clubs or hotels ? His postseason is now becoming one big nightmare . Not one , not two , not three , not four . How ’bout winning one for The Gipper LeBbron ?

    • Al, that game last night in Indiana was as ugly as it gets for Miami. They actually looked meek and timid. Crazy. I doubt LeBron validates…but he certainly is still looking for validation.

      • LBJ’s only validation so far was the day his mother gave birth to him. The obstetrician/gynecologist should’ve shoved him back in ! Since then he’s been coddled by the press and fans alike .

        BTW CBS , Fox , NBC ABC have passed on a sitcom and a reality tv show starring TO and McNabb . Why ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

        I love stupidity on tv especially as it relates to the political debates (tv shows feat’g athletes who believe they’re the voice of a lost/mindless generation ) and these now odious campaign ads by Obama and Romney . Priceless . Why can’t you Yanks adopt the system they have in the UK ? It’s all over in a time span of 6 months ……. and that includes the debates , meet-n-greet by the candidates for Parliament . Here’s it’s two years of absolute bs and more crap .

        tophatal …..

  5. Blog Surface says:

    The act of “flopping” has now gone into a different level. I agree with Jeff Van Gundy, something needs to happen to correct this issue. Going as far as using instant replays to determine if the player flopped or not is being thought about, which would certainly make the game a bit longer.

    • Yes, Christian. I heard Van Gundy’s thoughts on that as well. I guess replays would have to be considered if the punishment was severe enough. To lengthen the game in that manner, I would suspect that we’d be talkinga technical foul, loss of possession…subsequent fines even?

  6. sports’

    So it now becomes a best of three game series ? What happens should the Heat’s postseason foray come to an abrupt end ? Does that mean “The Gipper “ still remains disappointed in LBJ ?

  7. Steven Jeffries says:

    The truth is emerging in Miami…they don’t have that ultimate team that everybody, (especially in Miami’s fron office), thought they had. Will they “break-up” if they fail for a second year to win it all?

  8. sports’

    Goodell says he wantsSS to avoid a strike in the NFL this season but he accuses the NFLRA (referees’ union) of ” playing” hardball . What did he expect after his dealings with the Players’ Union (NFLPA) ?

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