Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why the Shaq/LeBron pairing is doomed to fail

Here are excerpts from an article written by covers.com associate editor Ashton Grewal as to why the pairing of Cavaliers' superstar LeBron James with Shaquille O'Neal won't work:

...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.


  • At 8:11 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    This article confirms my feelings as to why the Magic need to fear the Boston Celtics much more than the Cavaliers.

  • At 8:52 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Some final preseason Magic stats:

    Vince Carter: 18.6 ppg... 47.2% FG... 36.8% 3 PT FG... 86.5% FT

    Rashard Lewis: 17.3 ppg... 51.2% FG... 44.0% 3 PT FG... 70% FT

    Ryan Anderson: 14.0 ppg... 48.5% FG... 56.1% 3 PT FG... 84.6% FT... 4.3 rebounds

    Dwight Howard: 15.1 ppg... 62% FG... 53% FT... 9.3 rebounds... 2.3 blocks

    Brandon Bass: 12.7 ppg... 65.4% FG... 70% FT... 5.9 rebounds

    Mickael Pietrus: 11.6 ppg... 46.2% FG... 50% 3 PT FG... 66.7% FT

    J.J. Redick: 9.6 ppg... 33.3% FG... 33.3% 3 PT FG... 81.8% FT

    Jameer Nelson: 9.6 ppg... 45.5% FG... 33.3% 3 PT FG... 91.7% FT... 5.4 assists

    Marcin Gortat: 8.1 ppg... 71% FG... 80.8% FT... 7.5 rebounds

    Matt Barnes: 8.0 ppg... 43.9% FG... 75% FT... 5.7 rebounds

    Jason Williams: 5.3 ppg... 40% FG... 35.7% 3 PT FG... 75% FT... 5.2 assists

    Anthony Johnson: 1.7 ppg... 25% FG... 25% FT... 2.7 assists

  • At 11:38 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Nice job with the drunk blogging WRD. I wouldn't have been able to stay awake long enough to put together a coherent sentence..LOL..

    I got to agree with you, Mike about the Magic fearing the celtics more than the cav's this year.. After watching most of the cav's/celics opening night game, it could be a long season for LBJ. I'm no fan of either team, but it was nice seeing the cav's get beaten on opening night on their home court..

    shaq, even though he looked to be in decent shape, is still 37 years old, and a season is still 82 games games long. How long will it take before he gets bored and his mystery illnesses show up?

  • At 5:43 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Right, Ken. Even though it was only one game, the Celtics look like the far superior team to the Cavs.

    Last season, Cleveland didn't lose their first home game until early February.

    LeBron James had his usual sensational statistical game, but it wasn't nearly enough to get them past Boston. O'Neal even had a decent game with a double-double.

    The Cavaliers' depth is laughable... 10 total points off the bench! The four other starters combined for 41 points, just 3 more than James by himself.


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