Shaquille O’Neal and Jason Kidd both made debuts with their new teams last night. Unfortunately, both the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks lost. However, both players impact on their respective team was undeniable.
Let’s start with Shaq and his game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Shaq contributed last night with 15 points and 9 rebounds, not bad since he hasn’t played in a few weeks. Despite the 130-124 loss to the Lakers, the Suns obviously can and will play better once Shaq gets his “legs back” and/or used to his new teammates.
At times Shaq looked lost when he wasn’t hanging below the rim as usual. Shaq definitely made an effort to move around more and even ran some fast breaks, but how long can that last?
Shaq needs to find his place in the Suns game that suits both him and his team. After the game Shaq played the good teammate card.
“I haven’t been this happy in a long time. I will take the blame for this loss because I wasn’t in tune with the guys. But give me four or five days to really get in tune and I’ll get it.”
Now on to Jason Kidd’s debut with the Dallas Mavericks.
It is obvious from watching this game that Kidd is going to really help the Mavericks. His ability to make plays and find people is unmatched. Last night, he spent a bit too much time trying to pass it to his new teammates, but that is to be expected.
Just looking at the box score shows that it was not a typical Kidd night. He only scored 8 points and had only 5 assists. However, do not let last night's game or the box score fool you. Once this team starts to click and the big guns (Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitzki) get a feel for how Kidd plays, everyone better watch out.
It is obviously too early to make any sort of judgment. In fact, we can only truly judge the trades after the NBA season is over, but from what I saw last night both teams will be better off then before the trades. The only question is did they improve enough to win a NBA title.
On another NBA note, the New York Knicks lost to the Philadelphia 76ers last night by 40 points. 40 points! The 76ers aren’t even a good team! How does Isiah Thomas still have a job?