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LeBron James calls out Pacers for not fouling up by 3 points in Game 1 loss vs. Celtics

LeBron said teams should foul 'every single time' after Jaylen Brown's game-tying triple


  • May 22 2024
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 LeBron James calls out Pacers for not fouling up by 3 points in Game 1 loss vs. Celtics
LeBron James calls out Pacers for not fouling up by 3 points in Game 1 loss vs. Celtics
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Up by three points late in a game, to foul or not to foul is one of the most divisive questions in basketball. On Tuesday during the Boston Celtics' eventual win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, however, LeBron James said there is a clear answer.

Indiana had a three-point advantage with just over 10 seconds remaining in regulation. Celtics shooting guard Jaylen Brown got the ball in the corner on an out-of-bounds play and was able to hoist up a 3-pointer. He drained it and sent the game to overtime. Eventually, Boston celebrated a 133-128 victory at TD Garden.

"And yall still wanna know why I would foul up 3 EVERY SINGLE TIME??" James said on social media. 

In a recent episode of the Mind the Game podcast, James went a little deeper and broke down his strategy with JJ Redick.

"What are all the circumstances that are going on at this point? So you're up three, is it under 24 seconds left in the game? Do we have a timeout? What are some of the cases?" James asked. 

"If you're gonna foul you have to foul on the downward dribble. It's hard and sometimes a lot of guys are afraid to do it too," he continued. "A lot of coaches are afraid to tell their team to foul when they're up three because either 1) they haven't worked on it, or 2) with our rules and things it gets tricky sometimes and you send a guy to the free-throw line because you tried to foul him in the case. 

"But I am fouling. I am fouling, I am fouling, I am fouling. Guys are too great, man. Guys are too great."

Tuesday was a tough loss to swallow for the Pacers, who were originally planning to foul on the play. However, with the way Brown caught the ball, forward Pascal Siakam said he didn't want to risk fouling Brown in his shooting motion and sending him to the free-throw line.

"It was just a judgment call," Siakam told reporters. "I felt like he was going through the motion, he had a pump fake. I didn't want to foul then. And it was a tough shot, I was in front of him. Maybe I could have contested it better but it was just a tough play."

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