Cavaliers Struggling Lately

Frankie AnetzbergerContributor IIDecember 10, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  Shaquille O'Neal #33 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks to maneuver against Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic during the game on November 11, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. 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 Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The inconsistent play of Shaquille O'Neal and reliance of Lebron James have hurt the Cavaliers of late. Ooh, and by the way, does Delonte show up when he wants to play? Either deal with your off-court issues or play basketball. I'm not criticizing his problem and actually think its great he is trying to deal with it. But if your going to play every three games then go absent for a week, just stay off the court until the problem is solved. It affects playing time for other players that make it to all the games. It specifically hurts Jamario Moon (Yeah this is the Jamario Moon blog). When Delonte suits up, Moon's minutes significantly decrease, which isn't a problem. But if Delonte isn't going to be there all the time, it affects how Moon plays. It'd probably be nice for Moon to get a comfortable playing time of 24-27 minutes.

The Cavaliers have played best when Shaq was out, sorry to say. For all Cavalier Shaq fans, you have to realize he is hurting the team. I posted an early article about how Shaq was hurting the Cavaliers and oversaw one point. There is a reason Shaq was signed by the Cavaliers, and it wasn't just to put fans in the seats. He does well when he is facing another dominant center like Dwight Howard. In the Cavaliers first meeting against the Magic, Shaq got Dwight in foul trouble early in the game which limited him both offensively and defensively. But the majority of NBA teams do not have dominant centers like Dwight Howard. Shaq is definitely useful against teams like Orlando, Boston, L.A., and San Antonio. Not only does he limit the driving lane for opposing teams, it also seems like he's limiting the driving lane for the Cavaliers as well.

I'm not sure this move is working out like the Cavaliers thought it would. The real test will be the playoffs where the Cavaliers will get to prove Shaq was a good sign when the face those elite teams like Orlando and Boston. We'll see, but I think Shaq is hurting the Cavaliers confidence right now. Now obviously it's something of note when we're criticizing the Cavaliers when they are 15-7, fourth in the East, and 1st in the Central.