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Shaq has a plan for the Knicks to have a better chance against Miami which will help them not at all

Sep 15, 2012, 10:56 PM EDT

LeBron James Carmelo Anthony Getty Images

ESPN NY got Shaquille O’Neal to talk about the Knicks for the upcoming season, not exactly a difficult thing to do, on any topic at any time. And apparently they decided to ask him what they have to do to get past the Heat, or, what they need to do to beat the Heat if they play them in the playoffs, or regular season, or something, because here’s his answer:

“I think when Carmelo plays against LeBron (James) and (Dwyane Wade), he should take it personally, like he’s always talked about last (among the three). When Amare plays against (Chris) Bosh, he should take it personally,” O’Neal said. “That’s what I always used to do. I played against guys, I used to take it personally that you’re not talking about me.

“They need to do that. In order to beat Miami, they’ve got to.”

via Shaquille O’Neal says New York Knicks, not Brooklyn Nets, are team to beat in New York – ESPN New York.

That’s great quote material, which is what Shaq does, besides laugh really big and give himself nicknames.

But here’s the thing. The Knicks will play 82 games this season (thank God). Four of them will come against the Miami Heat. The other 78 are against other teams. And there’s a substantial set of reasons to believe they won’t face them again in the playoffs. If it’s Boston, Brooklyn, Indiana, Chicago, having this be a focus is silly. Yes, they like to think of themselves as rivals to the Heat, because, well, let’s face it, New York aims high. But the weird thing is they actually mtach up conceptually with the Heat extremely well.

A slow-it-down, grind-it-out defensive team with a high-scoring forward who likes to work out of the mid-post and Tyson Chandler protecting the rim, along with quality veteran shooters on the outside. Yeah, that’s pretty much Dallas 2011, except that Dirk Nowitzki is considerably better than Carmelo Anthony.

They match up well with them. And yet they got steamrolled in the playoffs because of the talent disparity. There’s not much that New York can do to make up for that other than “be a lot better” and I’m not sure taking it personally is going to work. Also, considering how close Melo and that whole crew in South Beach is, I wouldn’t come along expecting any bad blood.

It’s not O’Neal’s fault, he was asked a question, answered honestly. Just not sure what it is New York’s really supposed to do with that information.

(Side note: Shaq does himself a disservice by saying that he and Kobe, in the years they didn’t win a championship, only played “OK” and then saying Melo and Amar’e played “OK” last year. Bad Shaq and Kobe was still very good, like pizza. So far Melo and Amar’e sharing the floor has been a dumpster fire in a sewage refinery. )

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    What kind of ADHD headline is that?

    • lookitsgreen - Sep 16, 2012 at 7:18 AM

      I opened the article just to comment on how ridiculous this headline is

  2. larrybrown43 - Sep 16, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    82 games is 30 more than needed. It’s not, “82 games, thank God.” It’s 82 ungodly games.

    Except for the perfect NFL, 16 game schedule, All sports would benefit greatly with a reduction of about 30%.

    • stadix093 - Sep 16, 2012 at 1:45 AM

      I disagree, I love every single game that’s played I’m a junkie. Heck I wish I could watch games all year long.

      • Legacy112 - Sep 16, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        Agreed. I wish we had 102 games and played all year round. I was depressed when the season ended and I’m counting the days until it’s back.

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 16, 2012 at 4:20 AM

      Agree on baseball (that season is way too long), but disagree on basketball.

      Each NBA team playing the 29 other teams on average 2.8 times per year (basically 3 times per year) sounds about right – they play once, then make adjustments and play again, then make adjustments to the adjustments and play a third time.

    • jmclarkent - Sep 16, 2012 at 4:35 AM

      I think that the number of games is fine. I do, however believe that the product would be superior if they narrowed down the league to 26/28 teams.

    • miamatt - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      I totally agree. Especially when you take into account how long the playoffs are, and the fact that how things shake out in the regular season bears little resemblence to the end game, it is clear to me that less regular season would be a good thing for the NBA. Except for those years when one team is far and away the class of the league, contenders need only concern themselves with two things in the regular season- landing a top 3 spot in their conference, and staying healthy.

      Look at the Bulls and Spurs the past couple of years- No. 1 seeds, no titles. I love watching the games, but the NBA has the most meaningless regular season of any of the four major North American sports. 50-60 games sounds about right. Of course, it’s far more likely that the season gets stretched to 100 games than gets shortened to 60, and for a very simple reason- money. More games, more tickets, more TV, more money.

  3. superseahawk - Sep 16, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Mr. Wright 212

    I agree, all the headlines here try too hard to be funny.

  4. passerby23 - Sep 16, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Shaq is exactly right, the Knicks should play LIKE they are better, like they are being disrespected. It doesn’t mean that’s the whole answer to beating the Heat, but was he really saying that anyway? Everyone knew Jordan was better than them, but guys like Barkley and Ewing played like they and their teams were better.

  5. eventhorizon04 - Sep 16, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    I agree that the Knicks shouldn’t solely focus on Miami – last year, they were a 7th seed in the East. If you told me 5 years ago that a team with Melo and Stoudamire would be a 7th or 8th seed in the East if they joined forces, I would have laughed and called BS.

    Anyway, I see the Knicks getting a 4th or 5th seed in the East this year with the new defensive identity they’ve adopted, especially with the addition of Camby who can easily fill in for Chandler for 15 minutes a game. Keep in mind that the Magic (6th seed last year) and Hawks (5th seed last year) weakened themselves to build for the future, and I’m not sure if Indiana (3rd seed) became worse over the offseason, so Knicks could improve in the standings in large part due to their competitors worsening.

    But, that means they won’t see the Heat until later in the playoffs – assuming they make it past the first-round – so their mindset shouldn’t be solely on the Heat. I see the Celtics as a difficult matchup for the Knicks as well.

  6. Uri Shavit - Sep 16, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    Reblogged this on @Uri Shavit and commented:
    Shaq is always a funny dude ! :-)

  7. eflem80 - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    “They match up well with them. And yet they got steamrolled in the playoffs because of the talent disparity.”

    The Knicks got “steamrolled” LAST year because their starting PG missed the entire series, their starting SG played half of game 1, and their starting PF missed 2 games. Add the fact this team had no training camp together, a coach change mid season, turmoil to key players personal life (Amare’s brother), & didn’t discover a PG til mid season & suddenly you should realize that the Knicks shouldn’t have even made the playoffs….they actually overachieved in my opinion. None of those things will be a factor this season & Shaq is right. If Melo goes into this season with a chip on his shoulder coupled with the team now having their 1st full training camp together, coach they actually want well in place & no roster questions….the Knicks DO match up best against the Heat & are the biggest threat to them repeating as champs.

    • thestudiokida - Sep 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Game 1 was a 33 point blowout, Amare is an idiot and if it wasn’t for the coaching change the Knicks might not have made the playoffs. You have terrible arguments.

      If you think Jeremy Lin would have helped why don’t I remind you of his last performance against the Heat: 1-11 shooting, 3 assists and 8 turnovers. Knicks don’t match up well against anybody because they are a terribly assembled team.

    • miamatt - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      That’s rich. The Knicks are a discount store version of Miami at every position. Even Chandler’s impact is limited when the Heat force him to match up on Bosh and walk out towards the 3-point line.

      • dysraw1 - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:22 PM

        and we like it like that

    • dysraw1 - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      not to mention the big cultural change that J Kidd will bring, though he may be less than half the player he was 10 yrs ago hes still the same no nonsense, lets do this right kind of guy that hes always been. still a precision passer with veteran poise, if Melo & STAT don’t take it personal J Kidd will make them

    • passerby23 - Sep 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      I agreed with everything you said except them being the greatest threat to the Heat repeating. I think the Celtics are the biggest threat in the East, Lakers in the West. But, I agree, the Knicks are being overlooked. The big question for me isn’t about talent disparity, but whether the Knicks can produce a more diverse offensive attack than just Melo hero ball.

  8. tannethrill - Sep 16, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    My advice would be to get better especially on D

  9. jumpingpolarbear - Sep 16, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    I’ll read the second part of the headline tomorrow if I have the time!

  10. midnite2020 - Sep 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Dirk is head and shoulders over who? melo is way better then Dirk what drugs are you on

    • dysraw1 - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      sorry dude Dirk pound for pound is the best iso man

    • geo59 - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      Thank you midnite2020. I just about fell out of my seat when Matt said that. Dirk is a great player but he’s not “considerably better than” Melo. Quite the opposite. Melo has a much more versatile game. He can score from long range just like Dirk but he also has a mid-range game and a much better presence in the paint. When’s the last time you saw Dirk get a rebound, Matt?

      • cantonbound13 - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:20 PM

        Matt & Kurt are well known Knick haters. Who cares what they say about Melo!

  11. midnite2020 - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    better shooter maybe better player hell no defense melo, post moves melo, midrange melo, ISO MELO Dirk can ball but he definitely isn’t better then melo

  12. congocash - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    A quarter pounder with cheese has
    a better chance against charles barkley

  13. rodge1 - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Maybe Shaq is angling for a comeback with the Knicks.

  14. eugenesaxe - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Shaq has nothing and everyone knows it.

  15. michflaguy - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Is Shaq worse at being an announcer, or an Analyst. After reading that ridiculously ignorant rant, it’s a tie.

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