Is Shaq Really Helping the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Frankie AnetzbergerContributor IINovember 28, 2009

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Shaquille O'Neal #33 of the Cleveland Cavaliers watches on the bench against of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden November 6, 2009 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

In the 10 games Shaq has played for Cleveland, the Cavaliers are 6-4. In the six games he didn't play, the Cavaliers were 5-1. I'm not saying Shaq isn't contributing to the Cavs success, but it sure seems they played better in his absence.

You would think Shaq's rebounding would help the Cavaliers, but the stats say otherwise. During the six games without Shaq, the Cavaliers were out-rebounded four times. That seems to support Shaq. But in the 10 games he has played, the Cavaliers have been out-rebounded six times.

There is no doubt Shaq's presence in the paint defensively helps the Cavaliers. He alters shots and limits the lane for driving. But, you can also say that on the offensive end. The Cavaliers are more reluctant to drive and tend to shoot the ball more when Shaq is in the game.

As well as Z is playing right now, maybe Shaq should come off the bench or have a limited role in the first quarter. Coach Brown should get things going, then have Shaq come into the game.

I'm looking down the road, though, and seeing how Shaq will effect the team in the playoffs. I don't see it working out the way LeBron or the rest of the team would like it to.