I’m sure you’ve seen it by now. LeBron James’s monster block on Tiago Splitter. If you’re like me, you scoured the internet to find replays and different angles of this play.
This is fantastic! The ball and Tiago’s Splitter’s career exploded at that very moment.
At first glance, I thought it was the block of the year. Then I a had a day to let the euphoria settle down and now I’m back to thinking Roy Hibbert’s block on Melo was better.
What makes the all-time great plays great are the moments and situations in which they occurred. MJ’s mid-air hand switch layup would’ve been a great play in the regular season, its iconic because it was in the NBA Finals vs Magic Johnson’s Lakers.
Lets look at the two plays and the situations where they occurred.
Situation – Game 2, NBA Finals, 4th Qtr, about 8 minutes left, up by 19
Victim – Tiago Splitter
This game was pretty much decided before the block. But the block and the plays that followed the block sealed the deal. The Spurs needed a lot of good fortune to come back in this game pre-block. They needed an act of God post-block. Plus the victim is a solid player, but he’s not going to be an All-Star at any point in his career. LeBron had everything to lose on this play. If he gets dunked on, every little kid in Brazil would’ve had that poster on their walls. Its the one highlight they would show at Splitter’s retirement press conference. The name isnt big enough to overtake Roy.
Situation – Game 6, Eastern Conference Finals, 4th Qtr, about 5 minutes left, down by 2
Victim – Carmelo Anthony
This was a tight game. Knicks were making a serious run and threatening to take full control of this game and possibly the series by forcing a game 7, back in the Garden. This blocked swung the momentum and changed the entire game. Pacers took the lead 2 possesions later and never looked back. Plus the victim is a future hall of famer. Led the league in scoring and just seeing the behind the backboard shot of Hibbert’s hand basically being in the rim pushes this over the top for me.
So I have Hibbert’s #1 and LeBron’s #2. What say you? Which block was better?
– N.D. Face