O'Neal Injury Could Imperil Cavs' Championship HopesWe 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
posted by David Friedman @ 4:27 PM