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Goodbye Shaq
Shaq should retire. OK, maybe not just yet, but soon. Liss and I were debating the Finals last week and he made the point that Shaq isn't the Shaq of eight years ago. I countered that, maybe not, but he's still Shaq, almost unguardable. Well, I was wrong. Way wrong. And, three games into the Finals, it's too bad to see a great NBA career dwindle away prematurely. Shaq is 14 seasons into his career. Kareem averaged 27.1 points per game in the playoffs in his 14th season. Moses Malone averaged 20.7. Shaq is averaging 12.6 in the Finals. Not only that, but he's had only eight double-digit rebounding nights in 20 playoff games. He's averaging about 34 minutes in the Finals, but just eight field goal attempts. Forget Superman, he's become just another player. Perhaps I expect too much. Bill Russell played just 13 seasons, Wilt 14. Shaq's had a Hall of Fame career, but he should consider hanging it up before he becomes Patrick Ewing.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 6/13/2006 11:59:00 PM
Comments (1)

U-Turns and Beer Don't Mix, Ask J.J.
I wouldn't avoid drafting J.J. Redick because he was arrested for drunk driving, but I might have second thoughts based on his judgement under pressure.

He was arrested after making an illegal U-turn to avoid a police checkpoint. Hanging a U to get out of the checkpoint line is like standing up and waving your arms and yelling, hey everyone, I'm drunk! I mean, of course the cops are going to bust the car that jumps out of line. What are you jumping out of line for unless you've had a couple beers in you? What was he thinking? At that point, you chew as much gum as possible and hold your breath when the officer peaks in your window ... or so I'm told. But whatever you do, you don't make a U-turn, an illegal one at that, and jump out of line.

If I'm an NBA GM, I want players who can perform under pressure even when "impaired." If you can deal while "impaired," you'll probably do fine in crunch time.



Posted by Jason Thornbury at 6/13/2006 10:18:00 AM

Comments (2)

Shaqtime
It's no surprise that Avery Johnson is one of the NBA's best coaches, but what he's doing in the NBA Finals is impressive. The rotations and double-teams are making Shaq look like Jerome James. Just 11 shots in Game 1 and then only five in Game 2. That's unheard of (granted, Shaq sat most of the fourth quarter, but still). I didn't think Erick Dampier and DeSagana Diop had it in them. Still, the Heat aren't that far off. If Dwyane Wade can stop dribbling the ball off his foot long enough to get Shaq involved, the Heat can get back in this series. Offensively, the Mavs haven't done anyting all that special. They got a couple of good games from role players (Terry in G1, Stackhouse in G2). If Miami could actually execute its offense, then the Mavs wouldn't be able to get out and run. I'll be surprised if Shaq doesn't take over Game 3.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 6/13/2006 10:00:00 AM
Comments (0)

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