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Cavs Getting Shaq O'Neal - Thoughts?


JohnO

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I'll be totally shocked if the Cavs go any further in the playoffs next year with this big lummox in the middle, clogging up everything, and having forced the Cavs' coaches to rewrite their playbook to run a sufficient number of plays through him to give him his required (demanded?) number of touches each game!

While he had a decent enough comeback season personally this past season, the Phoenix Suns' fortunes took yet another downturn. In '06/'07, they won 61 games (2nd best in NBA), but lost in the 2nd round of the playoffs to the Spurs. In '07/'08, they won 55, and acquired Shaq for the last 30 games or so...presumably to give them more muscle in post-season matchups against teams like the Spurs. They lost in the 1st round of the playoffs to the Spurs that year! This past season, their wins dropped to 46, and they missed the playoffs altogether, with their former fast-paced offense slowed to a virtual crawl, due primarily to their big slug of a starting center......Good luck to the Cavs! They'll need it!

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I think the real key here is that they are dumping Ben Wallace, the same way the Piston's dumped him on the Bulls, and the same way the Bulls dumped him on Cleveland. Talk about useless! Wallace 'retired' when he was traded to Chicago back in 2006, and has just been drawing a paycheck ever since. The fact that Shaq only has one year left on his contract is also a plus for Cleveland. It will be one and done. Unless Shaq decides to drop a lot of weight and get in shape for his last hurrah, this trade will not bring Cleveland any closer to a championship.

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Just as the key for Cleveland may be dumping Ben Wallace (although if Shaq brings them no closer to a title...???), I suspect the only reason Phoenix pulled off this deal is to dump the last year of Shaq's huge contract and free up salary space to go after other players. Wallace has already been contemplating retirement. On the other hand, at least Wallace, for the most part, stayed the Hell out of LeBron's way on offense, which I seriously doubt Shaq will do. He'll clog up the middle and demand to be their #2 go-to guy....as well as being a huge liability at the end of each game, as far as free throws...

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spinKirk I concur with both you and hollies65! Shaq is no longer a franchise player and has not been for years. The man does not practice and seems to put forth his best performances off the court doing those "icy hot" commercials.

Since he and Shaunie have ironed out there differences, it may be time for Shaq to bow out of the game gracefully.

In the case of Shaunie, Shaq must think she is "Simply Irresistable"! Evidently, "she's so fine there's no tellin' where the money went."

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"Shaq would be much more effective guarding Dwight Howard..."

Agreed....but who says they'll even be playing Orlando in the playoffs next year? (And if they do, and the Magic's outside gunners are red-hot again,....well, Shaq can't cover them as well...). The Celtics with everyone healthy will still be a force to be reckoned with for at least another year or two. With a healthy Garnett, Orlando would never have gotten past them this year.

"Shaq is only coming to Cleveland if LeBron says so."

I think that goes without saying. If the big guy doesn't help them, as someone posted above, he'll be gone anyway. Michael Jordan and the Bulls took their lumps for several years, especially from the Pistons before they reached the point of overtaking them. My gut feeling is that we're dealing with a similar situation here. LeBron may not win a title for a year, two or even three....but he eventually will win several. In the meantime, the Cavs will likely continue to experiment with various supporting casts for him....

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Those are all great points that Pluto makes, and I really hope it does work out for the Cavs next year. The only problem with pro basketball, though, is - everything ends up depending on the team's chemistry. What works great on paper sometimes also works in reality....but doesn't always.

Case in point: The Cavs acquired G Larry Hughes a few years back, coming off a season with the Wizards where he made 3rd team All-Pro, averaged 22 PPG, 1st team All-Defense, led the league in both steals and hustling, and was 25 or 26 years old at the time. Unfortunately, first, he got hurt in Cleveland and missed a good deal of the season. When he was healthy, his game didn't mesh well at all with LeBron's. Turns out that season with the Wizards was his last good one. He was last seen sitting on the Knicks' bench this past season.

Shaq's at the age where he really, really needs to take good care of himself, including losing weight, or he's likely to get hurt. While he only missed 7 games this past season in Phoenix, he missed 23, 41 and 21 games his previous three seasons. He's also going to have to face the fact that his major contribution to the Cavs will be in rebounding and defense/pounding the other centers, and not scoring.

I just hope for the Cavs' sake that adding Shaq primarily for the purpose of going deeper in the playoffs doesn't hurt their chances in the regular season for getting the really high seed to get the homecourt advantage. Because that strategy backfired completely with the Suns, whose regular season win totals went down both years they had Shaq. O'Neal's teams have missed the playoffs twice in his 17 year career....when he was a rookie, and this past year.

It is, however, a great one season gamble (and one which should be highly entertaining to the fans!).

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  • 10 months later...

Just thought I'd come out of hiding long enough to post a couple of my comments from 6/25/09..........

JohnO - "I'll be totally shocked if the Cavs go any further in the playoffs next year with this big lummox in the middle, clogging up everything....."

Hollies65 - "Shaq would be much more effective guarding Dwight Howard..."

JohnO - Agreed....but who says they'll even be playing Orlando in the playoffs next year? (And if they do, and the Magic's outside gunners are red-hot again,....well, Shaq can't cover them as well...). The Celtics with everyone healthy will still be a force to be reckoned with for at least another year or two. With a healthy Garnett, Orlando would never have gotten past them this year.

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Go for it Hollies!

P.S. What happened to Tony's "I'm In Love Again" thing thread? It was a good one. I noticed there was some scrappin, but it was I think clean scrappin, and eventually worked out in pretty cool fashion between the scrappers (as should happen in the adult world). Maybe I missed something..

P.S. Bahoo has great insight into music, song construction etc., but more importantly, has good taste in chicks!..

James

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