Shaq to the Celtics. Sure, why not?

Shaquille O'Neal will be joining Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics next season

Mid-way through the 2009-10 NBA season the Boston Celtics looked to be a team on the decline. Having already won an NBA championship with the Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce in 2008, the dream of a second championship had already been wiped from the minds of much of the basketball world. Talks swirled around the trade deadline of moving Ray Allen and thus breaking up the once dominating big 3.

Move forward to the 2010 off-season, another championship finals under their belts and the big 3 still intact. The Celtics have gone out and signed the Big Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal, to a 2 year deal worth around $3 million. With the signing of Shaq, the word rebuilding has been taken out of the vocabulary of Boston Celtic fans for at least another season.

Mixed reviews have been pouring in over the bringing in of Shaquille O’Neal to the Boston Celtics, but I am definitely one who is not against it.

It is obvious to everyone that Shaq’s play has fallen off massively from his heyday with the Lakers, but quality big men are few are far between in the NBA which is part of what makes the Shaq signing logical.

With Kendrick Perkins out until possibly February following knee surgery, you have to ask what is your next best option for a big man other than Shaquille O’Neal.

There really is not much out there, and with the Celtics being one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA last season they could sure use the 7 foot 1 force in the paint.

Jermaine O'Neal had a disappointing stint with the Toronto Raptors

Of “quality” big men, the Celtics currently are sporting Jermaine O’Neal who, like Shaq, is a player well past the prime of his career. For Jermaine O’Neal, injuries have been a big problem throughout his career, and at the age of 31 he doesn’t have the same explosiveness in his legs that he had in years past. Jermaine O’Neal can still do good things for a team but is just not a solid enough interior presence. In his last 3 seasons he has maxed out at 7 rebounds per game and not to mention being constantly in and out of the line-up.

Again, like Shaq, this grizzled veteran is not going to able to carry a big load on his own. However, combine their forces and they might be able to create a formidable force up front.

The C’s are going to need Shaq on defence when it comes to stopping the NBA’s elite big men. We all saw how Kendrick Perkins was able to shut down Dwight Howard for much of the Magic-Celtic series. But without Perkins there is no way the Celtics can rely on guys like Jermaine O’Neal to get the job done defensively. Even though Shaq is one of the worst pick and roll defenders in the league, the Boston Celtics as a team are one of the best defensively, and should be able to make up for his lack of mobility in those situations.

One of the biggest knocks on Shaq at this point in his career is his detrimental effect to his team’s offence. Because of his inability to run the floor well, Shaq greatly slows done the offence and once his team’s offence gets set in the half court he clogs the lane for teammates. Moreover, Shaq no longer has the ability to dominate the paint. He doesn’t finish around the basket like he used to and his initial post position is farther from the basket.

Despite these flaws, many analysts have noted that the Boston offence is very methodical. Unlike the Phoenix Suns, the Celtics don’t rely on running and gunning. Although it should be mentioned that Rondo will face some difficulty attacking the paint like he has done in the past with Shaq there to be a bit of a road block.

Lastly, I have to talk about his so-called attitude problems. People are questioning Shaq’s ego and whether he is willing to take a reduced role without complaining.

I really don’t think this is going to be a problem at all. First off, Shaq is surrounded by a team of players who are just out to win. Who’s to say that Shaq is no different? It seems to me he just wants a championship ring for his pinkie finger and doesn’t singing a contract worth virtually nothing to him show that he is all about winning? Also, there is no way that Shaq still thinks he is still the main man in town. Again, he is surrounded by great players and the fact that nobody is willing to give him a contract with a significant amount of money should be humbling to a man of his stature.

At the beginning of the off-season I didn’t think that anyone in their right minds should sign Shaq, but the Boston Celtics situation has convinced me and it should convince you otherwise.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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It is too early

It looks as though Brett Favre is finally finished

It happens so often where professional athletes are guided towards retirement as they reach their golden years. But when players feel that they have more to offer and a team is willing to give them the opportunity to play with a contract, who’s to say that they should end their career a bit prematurely.

Brett Favre is a player who, for the last few years, has ignored the criticism and calls from fans, media, and even front office personnel to leave the game of football. Now, after another off-season of Brett Favre cat and mouse, a source has told the Associated Press that Favre has in fact informed the Minnesota Vikings that he will not be playing this upcoming NFL season.

This year, just about everyone seemed to think that Favre was going to return for another season at the tender age of 40 years old, and there was no reason to think otherwise. He was coming off a season that saw him in contention for the NFL’s most valuable player as well as being within one game of the Super Bowl. Moreover, Favre delayed his necessary ankle surgery until recently with the intention of avoiding OTA’s and training camp. However, his ankle not healing correctly may be the reason that he is not coming back for another season.

As much as people say they are tired of hearing about Brett Favre I don’t buy it. This season has lost a lot of intrigue now that Brett Favre has supposedly decided not to come back…at least for me.

It was a joy to watch Brett Favre succeed the way he did last year. Who would have thought it was possible for player of Favre’s age and stature to have possibly the best statistical season of his career?

In the game of football player’s are constantly going down with injuries and career-threatening ones at that, yet Brett Favre has managed to make a record 285 consecutive starts while playing at an incredibly high level.

No longer are we going to be able to see an old, hardened veteran, playing the game with the joy akin of a little kid. The passion and desire of a man who has been beat up as much as anyone in his 19-year career is unmatched by anyone.

Brett Favre doesn’t care what people think of him, but that is exactly what makes him one of the best to ever put on an NFL jersey. His gun slinging ways would not be possible if not for his lack of a conscious.

Could any other athlete have shown up at the ESPY’s all smiles despite the uncertainty surrounding his decision of whether or not to return?

Virtually everyone knows the saying “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone.” Well, that’s the song we’re going to be hearing for quite some time when we talk about Brett Favre and it is sad that we are not going to see another possible magical season from the legendary #4.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

Subscribe to my blog as well and you can get the latest posts such as Note to NHL GM’s — This is Getting out of Hand

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