Reader Martin James on Going Shaqless

by June 12, 2006

By Reader Martin James

Call me crazy but Miami is better without Shaq. I didn’t come to this conclusion just by the run Miami made in the 4th. I said it a few days after Miami traded for Shaq. When Shaq is in the game he hogs up the paint. This was true of the Shaq Miami traded for but even more so now. Tonight with Shaq out of the game Walker and other Miami players were able to attack the basket from multiple lanes and not just the half the goal Shaq is away from. This Shaq is too old and slow to keep up with Dallas on either end. Not to mention his foul shooting, which has gone Rodney Dent awful.

None of this really matters now because Shaq must be in the game right? Just imagine what it would be like if Shaq came in off the bench.  Now before you stop reading, hear me out. Since the only thing Shaq does anyway is post up and wait for someone to toss him the ball, anyone on Miami’s second unit could easily follow this procedure. By this time everyone else is in the motion of the game for Miami, which means they won’t have to take quick jumpers 30 seconds into the game. Also Dallas’ bigs would be tired from banging with an active Zo for a few minutes.  I know that I probably wouldn’t be making these suggestions if we weren’t down 2 games. However the Miami that was built to beat Detroit cannot beat Dallas playing the same way.

This brings me to another question, what could Miami do with 20 million this off season. Shaq isn’t and won’t be worth that kind of money ever again. With no draft picks in the up coming draft and with difficult contracts to move maybe those Dunkman ads with Shaq playing shuffle board would make for a nice reality.

On a completely related issue why would you sign or trade for any player that you didn’t feel comfortable playing for your team? I am not sure Kapono would know that he played for Miami if he didn’t sit next to Shaq on the bench. Derek Anderson must be wondering why he had to move in the middle of the season. I am not suggesting that these two hold the answer to Miami’s problems, but with 30 teams and a more shallow talent pool an 8 man rotation just won’t cut it anymore.