The bed’s too big without you. Cold wind blows right through that open door. I can’t sleep with your memory. Dreaming dreams of what used to be. -The Police
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! Last night, without Shaquille O’Neal, the Cleveland Cavaliers blew the doors off of the New York Knicks. Blew ‘em off real good like. Last night, without Shaquille O’Neal, the Cleveland Cavaliers out-rebounded the Knicks by 29. 29! Yowza! That’s the second-largest rebound differential for any team in one game this season. All without Shaq Daddy. So, no Shaq, no problem you say? Everything’s coming up roses, you say? You’ll be swell, you’ll be great, gonna have the whole world on a plate, you say? I say, not so fast. I say without the Diesel, who just had surgery on his injured right thumb and is still unclear whether he will return in time for the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers just went down a peg or two.
Since Shaq has been in this league, he has played in 203 of 205 possible career postseason games. He has only missed two games due to a deep thigh bruise in Miami’s second-round series against Washington in May 2005. In that time, he has won four NBA championships. In that time, he was won three NBA championship MVPs. He has led his team into the playoffs every season of his career except his first and last. He is what the kids like to call, a big game player.
The Big Shaqtus. The Big Cactus. The Big Powerpacktus. He was powerpacking this season. He was averaging 12 points and 6.7 rebounds in 53 games. Even today, when he says, “I think I’m the only player who looks at each and every center in the league and says, ‘That’s barbecue chicken down there,’” he’s right. Screwed, blued and barbecued. At 37 years-young, for my money, possession-by-possession, he’s still the best big man in the league. He’s stronger than before. He’s powered up for more. Mighty Diesel engines roar. Go Big Shaqtus, go!
Unfortunately, without Shaq in the mix, in the Steve Mix, the Cavs ain’t going nowhere. Small ball don’t cut it in big games. Go big or go home! Now, the Cavs need to Zydrunas Ilgauskas quick fast in a hurry. They need to sign him as soon as they are permitted to do so by league rules. And that’s a sad testament to the state of affairs in Cleveland.
Shaq daddy was brought to Plum City to help break its championship drought. The longest in drought in mankind today. You know, I know, and Brad Daugherty knows, that Cleveland has not won a major sports championship since 1964. Since the year the gridiron Browns won the National Football League title.
Cleveland is now going to have to wait a little longer. Be a little stronger. I hope I’m wronger, but Jim Brown can now rest easy. Easy like Mercury Morris. Shaq just packed up the moving van. He ain’t moving any furniture next door to no one. He’s left the block. He’s left town. And he’s taken the Cavaliers with him.
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!