Friday, July 16, 2004

SHAQ DEAL PT 3: The Western Conference

The Shaq deal will have a lasting effect on the entire Western Conference landscape as well.

First off, the playoff will be more interesting to watch in the the Hack-A-Shaq jobs will soon relocate to the East.  Guys like Ervin Johnson, Oliver Miller, Kelvin Cato [who is already over there], Dale Davis, etc all won't need to be here anymore.  Gone are the "well we have 18 fouls to use on him" comments during the Western playoffs [please, stop the "Lakers won't be there anyway" rants]. 

And that leads to the fact that teams can actually structure themselves in a different way. Now the West can have guys like Dirk Nowitzki, Zach Randolph, Amare Stoudamire, Tim Duncan, Paul Gasol and Elton Brand play center and not have to worry about sticking these foul machines out there every few weeks or so.  They just need to worry about Yao Ming......and that's a jump shooter.  The way teams are constructed will change.  Just look at the Sacramento Kings.  They are now going to let Vlade Divac....who did play pretty well against Shaq....walk away, possibly back to the Lakers.  Think about the huge load off of the Spurs shoulders it is that they won't have to deal with Shaq until possibly the Finals. 

Not to mention that this greatly hurts the Los Angeles Lakers.  Sure, Kobe is there with some new parts.....but without Shaq they are a completely different team.  They may/could/should still make the playoffs and make a run.  But no Shaq means less worries for these teams.

As Kings owner Sigfried Maloof put it: "I'm happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy!!!"

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