Why the Shaq/LeBron pairing is doomed to fail
...there are still some basketball followers out there that think (O'Neal's) addition to the Cavaliers automatically makes Cleveland the front runner for this year’s title.
At this stage in his career, the 37-year-old center is more of a sideshow than a low post force. O’Neal’s dedication to his sport has come into question since he first arrived in the league.
He admitted to the L.A. Times just the other day that he still isn’t familiar with most of Cleveland’s playbook.
OK, so the Cavs now have an out-of-shape, $20-million space eater, who isn’t in shape and doesn’t know the offense. And we haven’t even got to the real reasons why Shaq’s partnership with LeBron James will not work out.
On the court, O’Neal no longer bothers to play defense. Forget those stats he accumulated last year with Phoenix. The Big Fella's numbers were artificially augmented by the Suns’ fast-paced offense.
Shaq's unwillingness to aggressively defend the pick ‘n’ roll cripples his team’s chance of winning games. We’re talking about the most basic offensive set that every coach likes to run with his two best players.
The guy still can’t hit free throws and is a liability late in games because of it.
His addition only slows Cleveland’s offense, which is a big mistake. The Cavaliers would serve themselves and their star player much better by pushing the ball up court.
James is an elite athlete with unreal skills in the open court. Why do the Cavs insist on running a system that lets opponents get set and put five defenders between LBJ and the hoop?
Things aren’t going to go smoothly in Cleveland.