2009-10 NBA preview: Cleveland Cavaliers
Two big questions will be on the mind of Cleveland Cavalier fans this season. The first being how will Shaquille O’Neil fit in with this team, and will this be the last year Lebron James plays in Cleveland? While those questions are still to be determined what we have here is a great basketball team, which got a lot better in the off-season. Remember that this team had the best record in the regular season before losing in the Eastern Conference finals in the post season. They have added a lot of new pieces to compliment their weapons, but how they all gel remains to be worked out.
Clearly having Shaq is going to force Lebron to alter his game some. Lebron is likely to find many lanes to the hoop clogged by extra defenders moving to guard Shaq down low. For this offense to remain effective, they are going to have to continuously knock down jump shots.
Sure, Shaq is strong and will draw a lot of attention, but he is also immobile. He has aslo been known to display poor screen defense. How those weaknesses transfer to his new team could likely determine how good the Cavs are going to be. Sure Shaq will add some offense but this is a pretty big risk to take, however with Lebron likely leaving the Cavs are going all in for a title in 2009-10.
The other potential problem for this team is that they are now so deep that many players used to starting are going to have to accept roles coming off the bench. This is where Shaq may prove his value. It will be up to him and James to hold this locker room together, and remind everyone that the ultimate goal is to win a NBA title.
Besides getting Shaq, the Cavs also added Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker, Leon Powe, and draft pick Daniel Green.