"If we get to another Game 7 (referring to their 83-79 loss), I'm sure we will be glad we have Shaq on the team," Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said.
"Adding a player like Shaq is a major plus and it fills a void for our team. He's a real nice piece of the puzzle and he will complement us in where we want to go this coming season," said Rivers.
The 2009-10 Boston Celtics lost somewhere between 10 and 18 games down the stretch, and that was only during the regular season. No biggie, you might respond, because, after all, the boys made it the NBA Finals, where they almost won the whole enchilada.
Then again, what happened in game 7?
Well, of course, we blew another lead.
Just not good enough?
I'm gonna say no on all three counts.
My answer is that we had no inside game.
KG might have played inside once in a blue moon. Ditto for Sheed. Perk? Sure. But how effective and reliable were these blokes when it counted? Let me rephrase. Take a look back at the 1985-86 season. How did the Green win 67 games? They pounded it inside. How did they win the crucial game 4 in Houston to go up 3-1 in the Finals? Their bigs controlled the paint, Bill Walton in particular.
That is how you win games down the stretch.
Screw young legs.
Screw wisdom and experience.
You own the paint in the fourth quarter, you win the big games.
Shedding Sheed in favor of Shaq Daddy and JO will go a long way to curing this ill. Hell, freed up from some of his formal rebounding duties, who knows, maybe even KG will swoop in for a few more caroms this year.