Shaquille O’Neal Is…The Big Cuyahoga!!

Shaq In Cleveland

If you don’t have Twitter yet then you REALLY need to get it. It breaks news faster than every sports media outlet around. After a day of trades that saw Richard Jefferson go to the Spurs and Randy Foye & Mike Miller go the Wizards, last night the Twit-o-sphere was buzzing at the news the Phoenix Suns had traded Shaquille O’Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This is a great deal for Phoenix who unloads Shaq’s expiring $20million dollar contract and saves them $10million in the process as they get both Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic who both have expiring contracts as well. It also allows them to go back to the up tempo, run-and-gun style that they’re used to playing instead of the half court style they ran with Shaq which clearly didn’t work.

On the other hand, for the Cleveland Cavaliers it’s very obvious this deal was made in an effort to neutralize Dwight Howard who totally dominated them in the post during the Eastern Conference Finals. And with Shaq’s track record of winning championships with All-Star perimeter players, the front office — and LeBron James who lobbied for Shaq — obviously feel that this is the move that will bring an NBA Championship to northeast Ohio. But I disagree.

Last week when this trade was still a rumor I didn’t feel it would help the Cavs win a championship. In fact, I felt it would put them further away and not bring them any closer than they are now. Now that the deal has been made, I think they’re still the third best team in the Eastern Conference behind a healthy and in tact (see the Rajon Rondo trade rumors) Boston Celtics squad and the Orlando Magic. I know that Shaq is the most dominant big man of all time and he does give them a better low post scoring presence than Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Ben Wallace, but does anybody really think he’s missing piece to the Cavaliers puzzle?

You have to ask yourself these questions. Does Shaquille O’Neal give the Cavs an advantage over the Celtics who have a high/low post combo of Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett? Given Shaq’s age, can the original Superman really neutralize the younger and more athletic Dwight Howard aka Superman II? And if we do finally get to see a Lakers/Cavs finals next year, is he the guy that’s going to get them over the top against another good high/low post combo of Bynum and Gasol should Los Angeles find a way to upgrade at the PG spot and keep Odom and Ariza? I don’t think so.

It’s obvious that Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry are doing everything they can and pulling out all the stops to try and keep LeBron in Cleveland and showing him that they’re serious about winning a championship. They also know that the window is closing and they only have one year to do it. But I think Shaq’s best days are behind him despite reports that he’s in the best shape of his life. No disrespect to the big fella, but I think the Cavs would have a better chance of winning a championship by bringing in another wing guy to run with LeBron like a Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, Ron Artest or Shawn Marion who are all free agents and could’ve been swayed to play in Cleveland if the price was right. This was a very high risk/high reward move and for the sake of the Cavs front office I hope they got it right. If not, they’d better be prepared for life in the basement of the Eastern Conference next year.

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Wayman Tisdale – R.I.P.

Another sad loss for the NBA today.

 wayman-tisdale

 

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Amare Soudamire Out For The Season

I guess if it wasn’t for bad luck the Phoenix Suns would have no luck at all. amare-stoudemireLast night Amare Stoudamire suffered a partially detached retina in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers that required him to have surgery today. Dr’s speculate he will be out at least 8 weeks which makes the remainder of the season for him a wash. Ironically enough, in the same game he showed how bad the Clippers actually suck. The injury occurred in the 1st quarter as Amare went up to block an Al Thornton dunk. He left the game briefly but came back and dropped 42pts…WITH ONE EYE! Wow, that’s got to make you feel terrible as a Clippers player and it has to be an eye opening revelation (no pun intended) as the GM of that organization that your team really is that bad.

Amare’s injury severely eliminates any hope the Suns had of making the playoffs this season after firing Terry Porter and allowing Alvin Gentry to reinstate the high octane, up tempo playing style the Suns are known for. Get well soon Amare…your team needs you.

Shaquille O’Neal As…The Big Shaqawockee!

A lot of people have been asking for it, so here it is! Shaquille O’Neal and the Jabbawockeez from the All-Star Game.

Terry Porter Out As Sun’s Coach

Terry PorterIt was being talked about “unofficially” yesterday during the ASG, but today the official announcement came down that Terry Porter was fired by the Phoenix Suns — his second firing as an NBA head coach — and assistant coach Alvin Gentry will take over the reigns for the remainder of the season. After only 4 months on the job, it was obvious that chemistry and coaching styles were an issue with this team.

The Suns were used to playing an up-tempo, free flowing style of basketball but under Porter it was more of a slowed down, half court style. Nobody suffered more under this playing style than Steve Nash who’s numbers are nowhere near where they’ve been the past few years which is evidenced by him not being selected as an All-Star this year in his hometown of Phoenix after a 4 year run of playing in the game.

Alvin Gentry being named interim coach almost assures that the team will go back to its run-and-gun style that it’s been known for the past few years as he was a part of Mike D’Antoni’s staff. Right now the Suns are in 9th place in the west and we’ll see if they can make a strong push for the playoffs with Gentry at the helm. However, if they’re still considering trading Amare Stoudamire, they can forget about making the playoffs at all.

Kobe & Shaq Named All-Star Game Co-MVP’s

Kobe and Shaq both put on a show last night, but in different ways. Kobe put his work in on the court, scoring 27 points in a West blowout. Shaq did his thing on the court too scoring 17pts on 8 of 9 shooting, but he put in more work during the pre-game intro’s as the “Big Shaqawockee”! He kind of resembled a 7ft, 300lb version of Michael Myers though. All in all, it was a great ending to a pretty cool weekend.

Kobe & Shaq

The Big Shaqawockee

 

More Holiday Sneakers

LeBron and Kobe weren’t the only ones wearing special Christmas Day kicks. Here are a few more. Steve Nash looks like he’s out there in a running shoe and check out Dwight Howard’s “Superman” edition Adidas TS Bounce Commanders. Yoooouuuuuuu!!

Dwiaght Howard Superman Adidas

D Fish 12-25

Bynum 12-25

Rondo

Shuttlesworth

Big Baby 12-25

Paul Pierce 12-25

KKKG Christmas