Thursday, June 25, 2009

Did the Cavs Just Acquire the Title Last Night?

That was the question I texted out to everyone I knew this morning.

Here were some of the answers I received in return:

- "Yes"

- "I don't think so... drinkin the Kobe cool-aid hard... I think he has more"

- "Yes cause the celtics are getting old and thats the list of possible contenders"

- "I think they might have"

- "Hell no"

- "I believe so"

- "Yes. Unless shaq dies"

- "Champs for sure"

- "Shaq is 37!"

- "Definitely a step in the right direction"

And my personal favorite:

- "My testicles are tingly"

Gotta love my friends.

Now, a couple of my own thoughts on the deal:

1. Whether you like the deal or not or whether it's going to deliver a title to Cleveland or not, you have to understand that after finishing the regular season with the best record in the NBA and then subsequently getting embarrassed in the playoffs, the Cavs HAD to do something. This feels very similar to when the Philadelphia Eagles lost three straight NFC Championships and then HAD to go get T.O. That move obviously worked out and then obviously did not, but the point is that's what they had to do in that moment.

2. I personally like the trade because: (A) Shaq always gets rejuvenated in a new town, (B) He is in a contract year and will bust his butt, (C) LeBron LOVES Shaq so there won't be any "Shaq is relegated to LeBron's sidekick" nonsense - if anything LeBron might even turn himself into Shaq's sidekick. He has always had a lot of respect for the Big Diesel, (D) did I mention that right or wrong, the Cavs HAD to do it?

3. Even though it's a year away, I am salivating at the thought of a Lakers-Cavs Finals in June of 2010. Kobe vs. LeBron AND Shaq would be a match up of movie-like proportions. Seriously, it would take on a "Star Wars"-esque feel right down to LeBron as the up-and-coming Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker, Shaq as the grizzled old Han Solo, and Kobe as the once great Jedi warrior turned Evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

In the 2009-10 season, I will enjoy the Sixers going back to their old school logo and uniforms, I will enjoy going to as many Nuggets games as I can, and I actually believe the Spurs made the best move of the off-season by getting Richard Jefferson, but I AM SALIVATING at the thought of a LA-Cleveland Finals.

4. I have some bad news for Cleveland fans though. If it comes down to the Lakers and the Cavs for the title next summer, I can't see the Rebel forces defeating the Evil Empire this time - and it's not because Kobe is better than LeBron or because Shaq will be old and tired.

What's being lost in the whole topic is that MIKE BROWN IS STILL THE COACH OF THE CAVALIERS.

The man got very badly outcoached by a porn star in the East Finals and then that porn star went on to get very badly outcoached by Phil Jackson in the NBA Finals.

I know a lot of people don't put too much stock in coaching, especially at the NBA level - believe me, I'm one of them - but this year, it was so painfully obvious to watch.

And you know the Cavs know this because there were legit rumors a couple of days after the Finals about Cleveland thinking about firing Brown - and that's after he just had won the Coach of the Year for the season.

I know Phil has had Michael, Shaq, and Kobe - and that definitely helps - but sometimes when teams are so evenly matched at the end of the season, it really comes down to a coach getting creative offensively, making necessary adjustments on both ends of the court, getting the most out of every player, and generally feeling the flow of the game and moving accordingly with it. Phil Jackson has been the best at those things during my lifetime and THAT's why he has 10 rings.

Forgive me for stealing a Simmons' joke here but during the Orlando series, Mike Brown reminded me of the coach in the state championship game of "Hoosier" that just SAT THERE watching his team blow a sure thing.

And this wasn't his first time. I know the Spurs were way better than the Cavs in the '07 Finals, but San Antonio head coach Greg Popovich almost seemed amused running circles around Brown.

This is a real thing people.

I'm sure Cleveland will probably do a good job of managing Shaq's playing time during the season (can't see him playing more than 70 games - if that) and at the same time keeping him in shape for the postseason. The Cavs didn't give up anything for Shaq so they will still be formidable and I'm not going to underestimate a pissed off LeBron.

Other than the Celtics and maybe Orlando (you have to think Boston is going to make some moves - maybe even today), Cleveland will be right there again in the East. But with Jackson, I still think the Lakers are better than the Cavs and with the Jefferson trade as a shot in the arm, I think the Spurs may be the team to beat in the league (Ugh).

So while I have to give the Cavaliers credit for making a necessary move, it just wasn't the right one.


EZ said...

I'm not sure what the Suns have in mind, but I hope there's some sort of master plan that this is part of . . .

Shaq will certainly help the Cavs, but not as much as people think. I'd still like Orlando in a 7-game series because I think Howard will elevate his game next season. The Cavs are still behind the Lakers too and possibly the Spurs.

Scooby said...

Two words. Love it. Shaq and LeBron creating more theatrical dances before each game and T-Bagging the Eastern Conference is going to be great..

I am also loving this draft because i think big names can be moved..more then any year there are owners buying and selling and some are just hoping to hold tight and make a little profit..hers is hoping to a lot of ACTIVITY

Aarron said...

Obviously SHAQ is an upgrade over ben wallace but that's not saying much. I'm apparently the one person on the planet that just doesn't think the Cavs are that good. The were 1 lucky shot away from just plain getting embarrased against Orlando, who was clearly the better team. And sure enough the sweep over Atlanta just wasn't that inspiring. Shaq will help but he's still a 67 yr old man with 200,000 miles on his tires. He will get hurt or wear down far to early or worse yet he plays and the younger, currently better Dwight Howard dominates him as Orlando cruises back to the Finals against San Antonio as we all know this is the year Kobe gets caught again for violating some poor, innocent girl who only wanted to do her job.

Just Being Josh said...

HAHA You gotta at least APPRECIATE Aarron's commitment to his hatred of Kobe!

I don't have the energy to keep that kind of grudge going

tyson said...

"The Diesel," "The Big Aristotle," " "Superman," "The Big Cactus," "The Big Baryshnikov,"

Only a short time after Kobe's triumph, Shaq trumps him with a huge story and is now looking to get ring 5 with Lebron.

Ewing played 17 seasons, Kareem 20, Moses Malone 18, Wilt 14, Hakeem 18, David Robinson 14, Bill Russell 13.

Shaq will be starting his 18th season but I think the idea of him beating Kobe with 5 championships motivates him one more year.

Just Being Josh said...

Thought my buddy Jesse - a Kobe fan - made a good point in an email he just sent me:

I agree with everything pretty much, although the Lakers (Empire) have always been so shaky that the addition of a friggin Death Star (Shaq) to the Rebel Alliance could make a difference in spite of the coaching difference. Granted, it seems like the coach needed to go as well, but the trade was the best realistic trade available. (Spurs wouldn't give up a Duncan, Magic wouldn't give up a Howard, etc.,)

The real issue I think is whether Shaq will be an incomplete Death Star or a completed one. Either way, he's going to be lumbering a little slower than everyone else, he'll be a powerful but limited offensive weapon, and his effectiveness on defense will depend on how well the rest of the Cavs handle the little people who can outrun and outmanuever him.

Yes, a new coach would probably make better use of the team as it stands, but if Shaq's got enough left in the tank to play like he did several years ago with the Lakers, the Cavs could win in spite of the coaching. I think.