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Better Block: Anthony or LeBron?

SplitterBlockHensonBlock

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you enjoy the game of basketball.  Just playing the odds.  And if you like basketball, you might be disappointed that college basketball is over for the next few months, and all we’re left with is the NBA Finals.  There’s not a whole lot of reason to watch the NBA Finals this year for people in Kentucky; our most famous alumni are already out, and neither team playing is close to us at all.  So it’s understandable if you’re not watching any of it.

That said, you have to see this block because what the frick.

LeBron is a polarizing figure, for sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate ridiculousness when it happens.  Keep in mind that Tiago Splitter is a 6’11” center, and LeBron is 6’8″-ish.  Media folks are not only saying “SportsCenter Top 10,” but they’re expecting it to be on highlight reels for years to come.  Some have even said that the block will define the series, should Miami win.

But we’re no stranger to great blocks in Kentucky, so here’s the question: Objectively, which block was better between (1) LeBron’s NBA Finals Stuff, or (2) Anthony Davis’s game-winning block against John Henson?  First, let’s re-watch Davis work:

Now let’s break it down and look at some factors.

Importance to Player

LeBron is already established as the premier basketball player in the world right now.  Forget what Rodman said about James in the 90s, right now he’s the best there is.  So a play like this from him is great, but not really out of nowhere.  He didn’t really do anything to improve his reputation as a player.  Anthony, meanwhile, was still in the early stages of his freshman year, after becoming a coveted recruit in the last half of high school.  People might have suspected that he was a good defender, but there wasn’t a lot of proof yet.  Enter: the block.  It was the first of several “Naismith” plays from Davis, and the first opportunity for national basketball fans, and UNC players, to appreciate what he could really do.

Advantage: Davis

Importance to Game

LeBron’s dunk was part of a 33-5 run in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.  Anthony’s was the last play, on a game-winning shot in a 1-point game.  Hard to argue that the Davis block didn’t have a bigger impact on the game.

Advantage: Davis

Block Difficulty

Both blockees, Splitter and Henson, are 6’11”.  I couldn’t block those guys with a step ladder and broom handle, so any deflection is going to be impressive.  However, watching the blocks, what LeBron did borders on the unbelievable.  Davis showed good timing and great explosiveness to get as high as he did, but the one-hand stuff in the face of 240 furious, flying pounds of momentum is one of the most unreal things we’ll see for a while.

Advantage: James

Hype

Let’s be real, this an important consideration for “best play” quandaries.  And while Davis got a ton of attention in Kentucky for his block, it was more about the impact it had on the game overall, and not the impact on the psyche and temperament of the player.  LeBron’s block is seen as a turning point for the forward–and a harbinger of destruction for San Antonio.  KSR favorite Gregg Doyel says the block was part of “Superman” wresting the entire series from the Spurs, and there are no shortage of others talking about that block being memorialized on kids’ bedroom walls for years to come.  The Davis block was important to us, but LeBron’s block was just important.  Important to fans, young and old; important to the championships series; important to the game of basketball.  It was the best player making the best play, like some of Jordan’s iconic shots from the 90s.  If basketball had a “Heisman Play,” that would have been it.

Advantage: James

 

Let me say that I was way happier with Anthony’s block over Henson.  That was a big game with a lot more personal investment.  And the timing of the block was just so perfect, too; it’s not too often people celebrate game-winning blocks.  However, I can’t in good conscience say that it was better than what happened last night.  I just can’t.  Tiago is probably still writing about it in his journal in whatever language he uses to weep.  You may disagree, and I have a Heat bias, but I gotta go with LeBron on this one.  Feel free to (rationally) agree or disagree in the comment section.

Article written by Corey Nichols

38 Comments for Better Block: Anthony or LeBron?



  1. Rei
    7:02 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    leave it to Corey to pick Lebrick over AD



  2. CatsFan12
    7:07 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Play the music that is behind lebrons behind Davis’s block. Add in a closer/ better angle to Davis’s block and Davis’s block wins.



  3. objectivity left the room
    7:09 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    I love AD. That said, Lebron’s block was…well there’s no words for it! It just is!



  4. Dusten
    7:11 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    I was about two sentences in before I was like, “Wait a second, this is a Corey Nichols post.”



  5. Tim
    7:19 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Look at the picture. It dot even look like splitter is going to get above the rim. Suck it Corey. And the hype goes to James? Are you serious.



  6. The Philosoper
    7:23 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Bye Corey!

    When you’ve got diarrhea and you still can’t take a shit…

    you need to get off the pot.



  7. you suck
    7:24 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Davis > Lebron. Game winner > middle of 33 – 5 run. Kentucky > Heat



  8. thenamerobdigity
    7:24 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    LeBron by a landslide



  9. Faried'sBlock
    7:36 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    How about Kenneth Faried’s block of Mike Marra’s game winning attempt in 2011 NCAA.



  10. Ryan
    7:47 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Is this a serious question? The fact that Davis ever got to Henson’s shot is unbelievable. The amount of distance he had to cover was ridiculous. Throw in that the game was on the line for AD’s block and this is a no-brainer.



  11. NorthernKYcatfan
    7:47 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    UNC could have won if Davis didn’t block it. Spurs weren’t going to win last night. Davis wins.



  12. calej93
    7:49 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Not getting the hype for Lebron’s.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AS7uiS-JXA

    Every block on this video is better than both of these. Hell, Ginobli stuffing Durant at Number 9 is 10x more impressive.



  13. Sean D
    7:50 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Noel vs Ole Miss. This is so random



  14. Grant
    7:52 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Lebron’s block was sick but the game was over at that point. Plus it was against Tiago Splitter.

    Tayshaun’s block on Reggie Miller in Eastern Conf Final is one of best in NBA Playoff history. Lebron’s block isn’t on Tay’s level in terms of impact on game and series.



  15. California Condor
    7:56 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Tayshaun Prince always wins. Greatest block in NBA history.



  16. Buckets
    7:57 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    This isn’t even a debate. Blocking a dunk is waaaaaaay nastier than blocking a jumper.



  17. Daniel
    8:00 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    DAVIS



  18. BUCats
    8:08 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    I think Matt realized the 9AM slot on KSR is cursed and BTI is the only person who can fill it. CN and BTI are the two most hated writers on this site



  19. CreekCat
    8:11 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Please! Lebron had a nice block against some foreign player who went up WEAK with one hand. Compare that to the distance, both horizontal and vertical, that AD had to cover to block Henson. Factor in game winning block against doesn’t matter block and the clear winner is Anthony Davis. And for the record, as others have stated, the Prince block over Reggie Miller in the playoffs was the best I’ve ever seen, college or pro. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GD8feepwrE



  20. Unbiased
    8:21 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    I love all things Cayts but LeBron’s block was better. AD’s was more meaningul but LeBron’s was a man’s block. He stoped a 6’11 CENTER from dunking with one hand. That’s more impressive than getting one or two fingers on a jumper, objectively.



  21. Henson
    8:26 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Blocking a 6-11 guy shooting a fade is way more difficult than blocking a guy going for a dunk with half of Lebron’s athleticism. Just saying, its close but AD was a freshman and that has to factor in as well. Lebron is the best player in the game today. Davis all the way!



  22. Dave
    8:40 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Davis’s block of Henson was far more important and a tougher block. Give this round to Davis.



  23. mudcreekmark
    8:51 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    The guy is three inches taller but Lebron can probably out jump the guy by a foot. Not that impressive to me. Anthony Davis made some of the best blocks I’ve ever seen while at UK. Not the ones at the basket but the ones that he got on the perimeter. He would come out of no where to block a shot that no one in the world except him could have go to. No way anyone else could have closed out and blocked that shot against Henson except Davis. There are a lot of NBA player who could have blocked that dunk that Lebron blocked.



  24. Jeffrey
    9:32 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    No one cares what you think, Nick.



  25. Wildcatsteeler
    10:06 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    The Davis block was a much bigger impact to the game and much more difficult. The best basketball player in the world blocking a lumbering white guy trying to dunk isn’t even news worthy.



  26. Wildcatsteeler
    10:08 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Had Lebron not blocked it he probably would have got jammed on the front of the rim and fell down anyway.



  27. Surgeon Michael
    10:41 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    If you don’t pick UK for everything you’re not a fan!

    I vote LeBron. AD’s was great, but it was timing and leaping. LBJ had timing, leaping and strength. We saw AD block shots like that all the time last year (almost all the 3 pointers he got to), but stuffing a guy taking it straight to the rack is insane.

    And Lebrons came when San Antonio was within striking distance. That block changed the game. It said, no, it is over. AD’s while nice was in a December NCAA game. This was Game 2 of the NBA finals against one of the great dynasties in history.

    But Tayshaun’s was still better. Timing, leaping, end of game, Reggie going for the tying score, game 2 finals..



  28. Unboltedharp
    11:21 pm June 10, 2013 Permalink

    Lebrons block was good, but Davis’s was better. Davis’s block was the turning point in the season and was a game winner. The Heat had the game won when Lebron made that block. It’s a no brainier.



  29. Chaz
    1:24 am June 11, 2013 Permalink

    Davis. Set the stage for the season – for the opponent trying to score, in your head was “where’s Davis?”. Didn’t matter if you were in the lane or outside the three point line – “where’s Davis?” AD altered every shot in some fashion.

    LBJ, perhaps the best in the League at this moment, but I have to wonder if he could have stuffed Cousins like he did Splitter, or would he have a cast on his arm from trying. For LBJ, it’s best unanswered.



  30. Lebronthemanchild
    4:08 am June 11, 2013 Permalink

    Its not even close. Lebron’s block all the way.



  31. Park Diesel
    5:49 am June 11, 2013 Permalink

    Admittedly, I did not watch game 2 of the finals. And I realize the video is in slow motion. But from the video of Lebron’s block, the first thing I noticed was Lebron standing under the basket after the block. For several seconds… facing the baseline… not the play. His block was impressive, no doubt, and he wanted to make sure we knew that too.



  32. Steve
    9:51 am June 11, 2013 Permalink

    Lebron by a mile



  33. Megan
    10:12 am June 11, 2013 Permalink

    Disagree on block difficulty, Corey. You’re confusing difficulty with strength.

    LeBron was in position under the basket, perfectly set up for the block. He had no one else around and all the time in the world. LeBron exhibited courage and great STRENGTH, but that block was served up on a platter. Anyone willing to put a broken wrist on the line could have blocked that dunk attempt. Getting his hand above the rim wasn’t very difficult for LeBron. He simply out-muscled Splitter.

    Anthony was guarding Zeller in the paint, had to leave his man, cover a lot of territory, and had to block a jump shot from a 6’11” player. That was far more difficult. Anthony’s right foot was on the opposite block when Zeller backed him down and made his pass. Anthony had his hands in the air for Zeller’s possible shot attempt. He then had to scramble, what, 12 feet of lane and another 4 feet just to reach Henson? Not to mention block his jump shot. And by the way, he caught his own block to maintain possession and dished the ball before anyone could foul him. Anthony exhibited amazing EFFORT and intelligence.

    I can see other players making LeBron’s block, maybe not as decisively, but they could make it. I have a much harder time seeing anyone do what Anthony did.

    If you’re comparing difficulty and not sheer strength, it’s Anthony.



  34. theWilkman
    11:44 am June 11, 2013 Permalink

    33 nailed it. Davis stretched out and blocked a shot he had no business blocking, not to mention it ended the game and firmly planted UK as the team to beat that year. LeBron’s, while impressive, was in the middle of the game and he was right there waiting for it. Davis all the way.



  35. sunnycat
    12:19 pm June 11, 2013 Permalink

    I will pick a game winning block anyday regardless.



  36. Itssplitter?
    12:29 pm June 11, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s be serious – that AD block was insane for the timing, the way he got to it, and the meaning of the moment. Lebron’s isn’t even the best block of the playoffs. Everyone seems to have forgotten the Hibbert block on Melo’s attempt that would have saved the Knicks season. AD wins by landslide.



  37. TR
    12:50 pm June 11, 2013 Permalink

    Tayshawns block on Reggie Miller is still better than the two. King’s block is strength and Davis’s was athletic… Tayshawn had speed and athleticism.



  38. backpack
    5:06 am June 12, 2013 Permalink

    AD’s block on Cody Zeller better than both.