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Shaq Simplifies The Defense

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At least that's the positive spin that Kevin Garnett is putting on it.

Slow realization for Garnett on offense - The Boston Globe

O’Neal is bigger and less nimble than Kendrick Perkins, so some adjustment is necessary. Garnett said O’Neal’s presence actually makes things easier defensively. "It makes things more simple,’’ he said. "Being out there with Shaq, everything’s open. I’m used to counter moves and setting up things, and for the most part I’ve been able to attack and not have double teams, and when they do, I have a great option in dropping it off. So it’s a good addition.’’

Wait, so because Shaq is slower that makes things more simple because now Garnett has to do more?  Is that really a good thing?  Or is KG just trying to sell us on Shaq?

Maybe I'm being stubborn and worrying a little too much about this but Shaq's defense still concerns me a bit.  It isn't something that you can see on any particular play or game (even the best defenses have lapses and breakdowns occasionally).  This is more of a cumulative impact that will be seen on the box scores and felt by an aging and still recovering Garnett.  

Can the team make up for O'Neal's lack of Perkins-ness?  Sure, for a while.  Which is why I'm glad that Kendrick should be available for the stretch run and playoffs.  If all goes according to plan, the team will learn how to live with Shaq on the floor (for when they need his offense) and make sure Kendrick is in the game when they really need a stop.