by Craig Kwasniewski
First off let me preface with this... I am not a Pistons fan nor am I a Cavs fan. I have to give Cleveland their props for showing up and out-hustling Detroit in a gritty 74-72 win in game 4. The Cavs fans (minus the obvious sportstalk topic of cheering Rasheed's injury) are bringing playoff-level intensity that has never been seen in Cleveland hoops history. (Seriously, did the Larry Nance, Brad Daugherty, Mark Price era ever bring the noise to the Richfield Coliseum as MJ was in the process of ripping out their hearts?)
That being said, I have one simple question...
When is stiff-arming the defender on a drive to the bucket a defensive foul?
I know many superstars in the league are allowed a little leeway with their signature move, but are we allowing LeBron three different ones? He's allowed to travel in the lane, palming/carrying the ball is part of the repertoire... and now he's given Earl Campbell rights to the
endzone hoop... and drawing a foul in the process!
This happened twice in the fourth quarter of game 4. Both times LeBron drove down the lane from the left side and both times he was allowed to stiff-arm the man guarding him. And both times a foul was given to the defender receiving the stiff-arm!
Detroit had their chances to erase those disgraceful actions and blew it. Cleveland played with greater intensity than Detroit did the entire game and deserved the win.
But if 90% of the sports world can claim conspiracy after the Lakers miraculous win in game 4 versus the Suns, can somebody give attention to the fact that LeBron's getting away with a TON of illegal moves.
After all... WE'RE ALL WITNESSES.