There is no doubt that the Cleveland Cavaliers are arguably one of the best teams in the NBA right now, the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers are right there, maybe even above the Cavs in terms of best all around team, but LeBron James and company have the best record and look to make a run NBA title.
The one glaring problem for the Cleveland Cavaliers right now is the lack of a big men in the paint which is extremely ironic considering the fact that GM Danny Ferry made a point of it in the off-season to address their problem guarding Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard in the paint by trading for Shaquille O’Neal from the Phoenix Suns.
Just recently, the Cleveland Cavaliers made a huge splash in the NBA trade market by landing versatile forward Antawn Jamison of the Washington Wizards. This move was without a doubt a turn in the right direction for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they are favorites to come out of the Eastern conference and into the NBA finals, but they suffered a huge blow recently has Shaq went down with an injury that will keep him out 6 to 8 weeks which is the rest of the NBA regular season.
Not only is not having Shaq a huge blow to the defense and the paint presence for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Shaq might not even be healthy by the time he gets back which could affect the Cavs chances in the playoffs.
Obviously, the Cleveland Cavaliers have plenty of talent on this team to make up for the void left by Shaq, but how do you replace a 7 foot monster like Shaquille O’Neal?
The only play the Cleveland Cavaliers have at the moment is give more time to youngster J.J. Hickson which isn’t a bad idea as he is playing extremely well the moment and looks to be one for most promising young big men in the game.
With Hickson playing at position, the Cavs risk young kid suffering injury and getting Cleveland into even more trouble come playoff time.
Unfortunately for the Cleveland Cavaliers they can’t re-sign their former center Zydrunas Ilgauskas until 30 days after Washington Wizards have released him which isn’t for a little while longer.
Once Big Z gets back in the lineup, the question of whether or not he can pick up the slack for an absence Shaquille O’Neal will be asked time and time again.
Over the past two years Big Z has done just fine playing center for the Cleveland Cavaliers and should fill the void nicely, but the physicality that Shaq brings his are replaceable and could be something that Cavs are sorely lacking in the second half of the NBA season as a way for the big fella the comeback healthy.
One thing that Big Z has that Shaq doesn’t is a good outside shot and the ability to draw the defense out of the paint opposed to into it. With that being said, LeBron James might start to put up some big time numbers in the coming weeks as the lane will be wide open for him to do what he does best!