In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, LeBron James went to the charity stripe a total of six times. However, Reddit user Andy_TT appears to have some proof that the Cleveland Cavaliers star committed a violation on all of his free-throw attempts.
In his post, the user also included screenshots of each of the six alleged violations in which James appeared to have stepped inside the paint even before his shot hit the rim.
As per the NBA Video Rulebook:
“The shooter on a free throw attempt cannot step over the plane of the Free Throw line until the ball hits the rim or the backboard or the free throw ends.”
Looking at the photos it does appear that there is some merit to the accusations. However, no violations were called and James made five out of his six attempts from the line.
Lane violations are often called on players boxing out for the rebound as opposed to the free throw shooter. Nonetheless, referees often times turn a blind eye to this particular aspect of the game unless the infringement is blatant or during crucial moments in a ballgame. If officials blew their whistle every single time a lane violation was committed then games would definitely last more than the average two to three hours.
This particular game was also a blowout as the Boston Celtics took a big lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Some might then argue that the violations made by James would be insignificant when taken into the whole context of the ballgame.