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Shaq could be back before season ends

Apr 1, 2010, 11:13 AM EDT

When Shaquille O’Neal is motivated, he is still a force of nature. Those moments seem fewer and fewer with each passing year, but they do happen.

And in a sign he is serious about getting another ring — just to piss Kobe off? — the man has been serious about his rehab and now appears ready to return before the end of the season. At least that’s what Shaq told Associated Press.

Looking remarkably fit, O’Neal, who has been out since tearing a ligament in his thumb on Feb. 25 and having surgery, said he plans to resume basketball activities soon. He said his thumb is “good” and that he’s looking forward to getting back on the court. The Cavs had expected O’Neal to miss the remainder of the regular season, but the iconic superstar sounded as if he might be back before the April 14 finale at Atlanta.

“I will be ready,” said O’Neal, who has kept a low profile since getting hurt.

A fit, motivated Shaq would solidify the Cavaliers as favorites for the title. But first, he is going to have to prove at some point he can defend the pick and roll.

  1. Jason Raymes - Apr 1, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Shaq hasn’t been able to defend the PnR for 18 years now, what makes you think he can do it now?

  2. bobdevo - Apr 1, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    Shaq doesn’t have to defend the pick and roll – Varejao, Powe and Jamison can do that – he only has to do two fairly simple things to earn his keep with the Cavs:
    1. Put Dwight Howard in his place in the block. In their meetings this year, once Shaq put the body on Dwight – Dwight disappeared. With the return of Z and with a healthy Leon Powe, the Cavs now have 6 bigs with a total of 36 fouls to lay on Howard. Cav’s motto should be: No Dunks for Dwight!
    2. Post up on Gasol/Bynum and hurt them some. In the Cavs two games with the Lakers this year, Shaq dominated the inside, Gasol & Bynum wet their panties, and the Cavs rolled over the Lakers.

  3. Sean kingston - Apr 12, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    Bog boy is fully rested it’s like he went through the motions during the pre-season(regular season) took done tome off to drop some weight (20pounds) and now the real season begins. He only need about a good 12 games or so

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