So Shaq is injured, who cares? Why is everyone up in arms about this his average on the year is only 12 ppg and 6 rebounds. The Cavs losing Antwon Jamison right now would be more of a stumbling block to them right now.
If that unfortunate scenario did some how manifest the Cavs would still be the best team in the East, because they were the best regular season team in the East last year minus Shaq and Jamison.
I think people fail to realize how much easier the competition is in the Eastern Conference. Well if you don't I will try my best to enlighten you. Out of the 8 teams in the Eastern Conference set for a playoff run this year one of them has a losing record, while 3 more are barely holding their heads above water when it comes to being a .500 basketball team.
For example the Portland Trailblazers the team that caps off the last place for the Western Conference Playoff bracket, would be the fourth best team in the Eastern Conference.
That's only statistically speaking, in reality they would probally have 40 wins instead of 35 because of the lack of competition in the Eastern Conference.
If that doesn't display a vivid enough picture for you, maybe this high definition stat will help you find the contrast knob. The team in last place in the Eastern Conference only has a 10% winning percentage! In the words of Keyshawn Johnson C'mon Man! Even worse the Nets almost beat Miami in a 80-81 loss. They beat the Bulls, they beat Charlotte and only loss to the Cavs by ten points?
I know the biggest argument is that Shaq will be needed to counter Dwight "Super-Man" Howard, but when you think about they haven't been able to stop Dwight with Shaq. So what does it really matter, nothing!
The season will play out like it has for the last couple of years, Lebron will lead the Cavs to the best record in the East and ultimately the NBA.
However when the smoke clears don't be surprised to find Lebron surrounded by court side officials trying to perform the Heimlich Manuver on him. I'm just saying.