Monday, May 23, 2005

All Eyes On Shaq

The world's most valuable thigh
The Miami-Detroit series is moments away from tipoff and all eyes are on Shaquille O'Neal and his freakishly injured thigh. I was watching the game when he was dinged up at the end of the season and I never saw this coming. What looked like a bruise is now some weird blood calcification. When you see Craig Sager holding up the syringe from Requiem For A Dream and talking about pulling 100 cc's of blood out of his muscle ... yikes. If you believe the experts, Shaq needs to play great for Miami to win. That doesn't look likely.

Consider this Eastern Conference Finals central.


Adam Hoff said...

It's halftime (44-43 Pistons) and I've got a few thoughts:

- First, I want Miami to win and I like D-Wade, but this is why I dedicated an entire post to questioning the massive Wade bandwagon that emerged about a week ago. Sure, he had great numbers and carried the Heat to two straight sweeps, but it was New Jersey and Washington. That fact cannot be ignored. Now he's doing against Detroit and he's 3-for-13 and frustrated. His turnovers are accentuated and his inability to hit threes and stretch the defense is going to become a problem.

- Big ups to Eddie Jones, who is keeping Miami in the game on both ends of the court. He was called the worst starter in the playoffs by Bill Simmons (which was ridiculous) and has responded with a very nice playoff run. He's only a year from being a top-30 fantasy player, so he can play.

- Shaq actually looks okay out there. That's the good news. The bad news is that this is the best he'll be able to move for the rest of the year. And that the Pistons are winning despite his good start.

- Chauncey Billups deserved his Finals' MVP Award last year. Not only that, I would argue it's indicative of the big picture. Ben Wallace anchors the D, Rip provides solid offense, Prince is solid on both ends, and Sheed is the X-Factor, but Billups is arguably the heart and soul of the Pistons team. He hits huge shots (see: the big three from the corner against Philly), runs the offense, and creates matchup problems for the opposition.

- Final thought. How could the refs not call a foul on that last drive by Dooling? What were they looking at?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, no kidding. It is hard to belive that ESPN poll had users picking Wade over LeBron, T-Mac, and Kobe as the top swingman in the game. That was brilliant. He just killed the Heat.

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