Lebron Block: The Chase Down

The Science Behind a Lebron James Chase-Down Block

Category: Basketball


In yesterday’s 104-86 loss to the Boston Celtics on Game 2 of their Semifinal Round series, about the only thing that was exciting for the Cleveland Cavaliers was seeing Lebron James do his signature move, the chase-down block on Tony Allen.

A chase-down block is a block from behind or the side in which a defender chases and then blocks the shot of an offensive player who is running ahead. Usually, the player being blocked assumes that he is going for the shot uncontested and seems destined to score until someone soars and just sends the ball flying out of the hoop.

The term “chase-down block” was coined by Fred McLeod, who first started to notice it when he worked for the Detroit Pistons and Tayshaun Prince made a habit of it.

In the 2004 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers, Prince’s chase-down block on Reggie Miller’s layup in the final minute of Game 2 preserved the Pistons’ lead. The Pistons went on to win the series and, eventually, the NBA championship. The play was recognized as one the greatest moments in NBA playoff history and the NBA also made a commercial out of it.

Although not the originator of the move, Lebron started doing it frequently in the 2008-09 NBA season when he decided to integrate defense that it has become his trademark on the defensive end. He was even voted as runner-up to Dwight Howard for the 2009 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award because of it.

Check out this compilation of Lebron chase-down blocks for that season:

It was not included above but this is my favorite, Lebron’s chase-down block on Jason Richardson’s 360 dunk attempt:

Now, to see the science behind a Lebron James chase-down block, watch how the ESPN TV show Sports Science dissect the play.

It’s just amazing isn’t it?

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7 Responses to “The Science Behind a Lebron James Chase-Down Block”

  1. James Moralde Says:

    30 Gs of Acceleration
    29% Energy Reduction
    100% Amazing!


    ark Reply:

    Dwight Howard, Josh Smith and Gerald Wallace are athletic NBA players capable of doing the chase-down block. But no one of them is capable of doing this amazing play night-in and night-out just like what Lebron does.


    James Moralde Reply:

    With his consistent perfect timing, this move should be renamed the ‘Lebron Block’.


    ark Reply:

    If he was the originator of the move, could be. But since he was just the one who popularized it, the chase-down block name will stick.

    Besides, I have not known any move in basketball named after a specific player. Maybe the Shaq Attaq is the closest.


    The King Reply:

    That is really amazing.

    I will choose a chase-down block anytime over a 360 dunk.

    Defense wins championship. Go Cavs!


    ark Reply:

    I’ll go with you on that. I appreciate players who is always willing to do the dirty work and never give up on the defensive end to help their team win.


  2. Woodrow Says:

    Surely the latest rumours about Delonte and Lebron’s mom couldn’t be true.. I mean, could they?!


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