by Brett Edwards
There seems to be some discussion about whether or not LeBron was fouled on the last shot he took at the end of Game 3. Before I add my two cents, let's take another look.
In my estimation, Bowen was trying to foul LeBron on the floor, before he shot. That would have been a good move, because LeBron would have received two free throw attempts, which would have done the Cavs no good being down by three. Bowen clearly and intentionally made contact with LeBron, and since the Cavs were down three, James immediately elevated and jacked up a 30-footer, hoping to get to the line for three free throws. There are two problems with this:
1- As LeBron should have learned from the Detroit series, the refs are not going to send you to the line to win the game this deep into the playoffs unless you were literally raped by the other team. I'm talking blood, pants around the ankles, the whole nine yards.
2- If the refs did actually blow the whistle there, they almost certainly would have called a two-shot foul, and would not have given LeBron three free throws. See (1) for the reason why. The argument/controversy here would be that it should have been a "continuation," since James didn't dribble after the contact and simply rose up for the shot. Again, there's no way the refs are calling that, especially knowing what the Spurs' intentions were going into that play.
As I said at the time, the Spurs did exactly what they should have done on that play: attempt to foul LeBron on the ground, not giving him a chance to tie the game. LeBron did exactly what he should have done, which was elevate for the shot as soon as he felt the contact, because two free throws wouldn't help his cause at that point. And the refs did exactly what they should have done, which was let the (slight but intentional) contact before the shot go with a no-call.
So since everyone did exactly what was expected of them in that situation, where's the controversy?