Cavs' Tyronn Lue says LeBron James 'never gets calls'
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue doesn't think LeBron James gets "a fair whistle"
Pushed to the brink of elimination by the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers are searching for ways to extend the series and make a never-been-done-before comeback in the NBA Finals. One thing that could help, at least according to coach Tyronn Lue, is if LeBron James starts properly getting calls.
"He never gets calls." Lue said postgame about the officiating in regards to James. "I mean, he attacks. He's one of the most -- outside of Russell Westbrook, he's one of the guys that attacks the paint every single play. And he doesn't get a fair whistle all the time because of his strength and because of his power and guys bounce off of him. But those are still fouls and we weren't able to get them. But we've got to play through officiating."
Lue may get fined for his comments but he is absolutely right about James' strength and power and how it relates to officiating.
There may not be a more physically impressive player than James in the entire NBA. Weighing 249 pounds of pure muscle, it is almost impossible to stop James when he drives to the basket. Opponents of course try but they often fail and have to instead rely on fouling James to prevent him from scoring.
This causes a dilemma for officials though as James is so strong that he can just play through contact, making it difficult for referees to ascertain what is a foul on LeBron and what isn't. Officials had the same type of problem with Shaquille O'Neal when he played and other big men like Dwight Howard also deal with similar issues with officiating.
James though has grown used to the non-calls, and knows that he has to keep being aggressive despite his frustration of not getting to the free-throw line.
" I'm not quite sure what I can do personally to get to the free-throw line, but I've got to continue to be aggressive for our team." James said. "I'm getting hit, but the refs are not seeing it that way, on my drives. But I've got to continue to be aggressive for our team. That's who I am, that's what opens up the floor for a lot of our shooters, and just worry about the results afterwards. You know, it's tough playing 46 minutes and only going to the line four times, as much as I attack the rim. So it's just a tough situation for our team."
James is averaging 4.3 free throws in the Finals, which doesn't seem high but he averaged 5.4 attempts from the line in the playoffs and 6.5 attempts in the regular, so it not too drastic of a difference. Also James not getting to the line is not the biggest problem for the Cavs.
Cleveland's bench production has been dismal, the Cavs' defense has become porous, their offense has been stilted by Golden State's defense and the Warriors have gotten in their heads as well. That's a lot to figure out in such a short period of time yet if Cleveland wants to avoid elimination, they will have to do so in Game 5 on Monday.
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