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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

O'Neal Injury Could Imperil Cavs' Championship Hopes

We don't like to think in terms of championships being decided by injuries but one of the best regular season teams in NBA history--the 1972-73 Boston Celtics team that went 68-14--failed to win the title after Hall of Famer John Havlicek suffered a debilitating shoulder injury. While it is true that there is no guarantee that a healthy Havlicek would have led Boston to the championship that year it is worth noting that Havlicek and the Celtics went on to win two of the next three NBA titles.

The Cleveland Cavaliers rolled to the best record in the NBA prior to acquiring two-time All-Star Antawn Jamison for, essentially, nothing (assuming that Zydrunas Ilgauskas returns to Cleveland after 30 days of waiting in NBA-sanctioned purgatory). With Jamison and Ilgauskas in the fold the Cavs have four players who have made the All-Star team multiple times and they boast admirable depth at each position--but that changed when starting center Shaquille O'Neal suffered a thumb injury that will keep him out of action for six to eight weeks.

By the time O'Neal returns, the playoffs will already be well underway and the Cavs will have to scramble to get their rotation set to deal with the likes of 2008 NBA Champion Boston and/or 2009 Eastern Conference Champion Orlando. In my newest CavsNews article, I examine the challenges that Cavs Coach Mike Brown will face in the next two to three months:

O'Neal Injury Could Imperil Cavs' Championship Hopes

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posted by David Friedman @ 4:27 PM


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At Wednesday, March 03, 2010 3:35:00 PM, Blogger madnice said...


a bit pricey but looks like a wonderful book.

maybe the cavs should of got amare

At Thursday, March 04, 2010 4:47:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I have not heard anything about that book but I agree with you that it is very expensive.

I am not convinced that Amare Stoudemire would have been a great fit for the Cavs. He and O'Neal hardly tore up the league together in Phoenix. Amare is not a defensive-minded player and he definitely gives off the vibe that his personal statistics are more important to him than winning--perhaps that is not the case or perhaps he would have changed his attitude had he been dealt to Cleveland but I think that Jamison is a better fit for the Cavs in terms of skill set (Jamison is a so-called "stretch four" who can shoot the perimeter j and create his own shot but he can also bang inside/rebound) and attitude. Also, keep in mind that the Suns wanted to receive something tangible in return for Amare, while the Cavs essentially got Jamison for free (assuming that the Cavs are able to re-sign Z). When you consider all of the above factors, it is clear that the Cavs made the best available choice.


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