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NBA Playoffs, Cavaliers Celtics Game 4: Rondo was getting to the rim, but where was Shaq?

May 10, 2010, 2:01 PM EDT

ONeal_Dunk.jpgRajon Rondo had 21 official shot attempts (plus was fouled enough to get to the line 16 more times). Of that, 14 of those shots came in the paint.

In game two, the Cavaliers did a good job of turning Rondo into a jump shooter — during the regular season his shot just 30 percent from 16 feet out to the arc, and just 21 percent on threes. He still is far from consistent from out there (and was 3 of 7 from 16 feet or more in Game 4).

Rondo is too quick to expect a guard to stop him on the perimeter, there has to be a big man in the paint to take away the easy shots, to contest the layups, to force the kickouts.

So where was Shaquille O’Neal? He played just 49 seconds of the fourth quarter (despite having 17 points and two blocks already). The Akron Beacon said LeBron James was asking that same question.

”Shaq played extremely well and I think it’s kind of surprising that we didn’t see him back on the floor the entire fourth quarter,” LeBron James said after the 97-87 loss.

Apparently O’Neal asked to come back into the game but never got the chance. He did not speak to the media after the game. Cavs coach Mike Brown wasn’t asked about O’Neal during his short postgame news conference.

There are a host of things the Cavaliers need to fix before a crucial game five, but figuring out how to make Rondo a jumpshooter again is at the top of the list. And Shaq may well be part of the answer. When he’s having a good game, you’ve got to play the man.

  1. Tedrick - May 10, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Its simple. It was a bad coaching move on the part of Mike Brown. Cleveland is the better team but Boston has the better coach who can adapt to the game much better than Mike Brown. At his age one thing Shaq can do is guard the basket. If not in foul trouble and not hurt why not play him. Alot of those rebounds would ha ve been his rather than Rondo’s as well as being a defender of the basket. This is why we will not see the Kobe LeBron match up and instead we will have repeat of last year with the same result. LA LAKERS back to back!

  2. Jimsjam33 - May 10, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Let’s face it , Shaq is too big and too slow to compete against Garnett , let alone Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum . . Shaq is old school and a dinosaur as far as the play-offs go . Sorry , Shaq you once were the best in the NBA , but time is cruel and youth never returns .

  3. Jimsjam33 - May 10, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Shaq is too old and too slow to keep up with Kevin Garnett . The Celtics will beat the Cav’s , but if the Cav’s do prevail how is he going to stay with Pau Gasol ? Impossible . Shaq is an old school dinosaur and his youth will never return to his glory years .

  4. Blaze - May 10, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    Jimsjam what exactly are you on?? Kevin G isnt exactly running maratjhons in case you havent been watching….Shaq has been doin his job: being physical and knocking rondo and others out the ari trying to go to the lane….getting all the celts front line in foul trouble and getting those inside baskets….sunday was mike browns fault…a coaching mistake for not putting him in…5 fouls or not
    And hello paul gasol?? That finesse weakling….jamison will be guarding him and while that doesnt help me sleep at night the fact that if he tries to go to the hole “ol skool” o neal will put him on his butt as it should be done.
    As finally Shaq’s glory years involved 4 rings (3 he won) MVP Awards and countless highlight reels. That old dinosaur bout to get a glove ring set…

  5. Blaze - May 10, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    You actually mention bynum in a posting?? At least o’neal can stay on the court!!! What has bynum done on a continuous basis?? Nuthin but get hurt….the fact you can downplay shaq and give bynum praise…please stop posting…

  6. Dinakar - May 11, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    Pls. don’t ignore Magic. They are the team to beat as of now and I don’t see Lakers and Cavs meeting for championship.

  7. Dinakar - May 11, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    Pls. don’t ignore Magic. They are the team to beat as of now and I don’t see Lakers and Cavs meeting for championship.

  8. andrea - May 13, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    oh plz shaq is way 2 old to be playin anymore he shudv retired already. He is too old and slow he needs tto stop, itl be crazy if he plays next season but he probably will smh…and shaqs to big n slo he cant guard quik lil rondo…even though celtics will probably win the series they will still get beat by magic. and itl b just like last year…

  9. amanda - May 13, 2010 at 11:11 PM

    Shaq is amazing. He is a LEGEND. He already won his championships. You guys should shut the hell up and be lucky to have had him because he did help the cavs out this season…. Of coarse, he had his time. But he is a very important part to this team. Well, he was. UNTIL LEBRON SCREWED EVERYTHING UP TONIGHT FOR EVERYONE. thank god i’ve never been a fan of lebron and i never will be. i hope he leaves the cavs and never comes back. he is so OVERRATED.

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