Ski...as much as I would like to agree with you that this is a mere bump in the road or a slump that most teams endure, as a fan I will try to be positive but realistically, we need Shaq and JON too to advance in playoffs. Teams that are more than just competitive have one of two things, and hopefully, both. A strong presence in the paint or a superstar G or F. Let me address the latter first, Bulls have Rose, most definitely a superstar & perhaps MVP this year but are not exceptional under the paint. The Magic & Mavs, on the other hand, don't have, in my opinion, superstars other than Howard and Nowitski(who is a PF & Center) but they are terrific under the basket. The Spurs have Duncan in the paint & then Ginobli & Parker, both guards and although not youngsters, they are still stars. The Thunder have superstars, Durant & Westbrook...both very young...and now Perk foir "D" & rebounds. But the real stickout and I hate them but they are 14-1 since the allstar break have the best of both worlds with 3 very good players in the paint, Gasol, Bynum & Odom, & , of course, Kobe, the very best, I think, since Michael Jordan. Now we come to us. Yup, we have the BIG 3 & won in 2008 with them and Perk, of course, not for offense but good defense. That same team almost won last year except we'll never know about Game 7 if Perk were not injured. As a long time Celtic fan still smarting from Game 7 and disparity in foul shots, I feel that being out rebounded killed us too & with Perk that wouldn't have happened. Rasheed, in my opinion, was not a power center who liked to dunk the ball. He like Garnett was mostly a jump shooter and at times felt he was a 3 pt shooter like Pierce & Allen. I'd have preferred muscle in the paint. So, we still have our 3 stars but they, as happens to all of us who age, have lost a step or two & we do not dominate in the paint. If we shoot 50% + we need not worry so much about rebounds, but if not, we need them. Lakers shot a pathetic 32% in Game 7 but dominance of rebounds allowed them extra chances. We do not have that luxury when we have poor shooting nights so as I titled this post, I end it with WE MUST HAVE SHAQ AND JON, ALBEIT NOT ESSENTIAL, WOULD BE A BIG HELP TOO, ESPECIALLY WHEN SHAQ FOULS OUT !!! PS...apparently from a coach(paisano too) who knew something about winning & it seems didn't believe in bumps in the road and slumps, here's a couple of quotes from Lombardi that could apply to the unimportance or importance of our team not winning now: "Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing." " If you can accept losing, you can't win."
Posted by mandobello
I agree with all of you, Mando, as usual. Well said, my friend. I too believe that without Shaq we will be in some deep doggy do do.
I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that no one else goes down during our stretch run and the playoffs.