Is LeBron James tipping his drives?
That’s essentially what Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert said after last night’s 84-83 win over Miami.
With 1.8 seconds left and the Pacers up by one, LeBron took the inbounds pass and immediately passed to Chris Bosh, who missed the buzzer beater.
Hibbert, who was all over Bosh on the play, says that he could tell LeBron wasn’t going to take it himself by his facial expression.
“LeBron gave it away in his face. He didn’t have that grit-his-teeth-he’s-going-to-score-the-last-basket look. So I knew he was going to probably going to pass it to Bosh for the last shot.”
If the goal was to use LeBron as a decoy to draw the defence away from Bosh, it didn’t work.
Some notes here:
On the one hand, we’re pretty sure there’s nothing scientific about having a “grit-his-teeth-he’s-going-to-score-the-last-basket look.” Hibbert just made that up. Also, players stand very little chance of stopping LeBron even if they’re fully aware of what he wants to do on the court.
But on the other, we know that “tells” are an actual thing. Poker players give away their hands with something as simple as touching their face. Baseball pitchers fall into slumps all the time by unknowingly tipping their off-speed pitches. It’s possible, we guess.
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