Apologies for being a day late with this, but travel headaches arose yesterday as flights to Newark had to be reworked so I could arrive in time to cover the game.
No real surprises in this week's power rankings from those writers who relish delving into this type of minutae. From ESPN's Marc Stein:
If the Cavs have Shaq back for the last three rounds of the playoffs -- in reasonable shape, of course -- they'll be fine. In the interim? Can't wait to see the encore after they averaged (no misprint) 107.5 ppg in February.They remain at No. 2 in Stein's rankings, but if the team continues to win in its current incarnation, look for them to eventually move up.
There's a reason no one is panicking in Cleveland over Shaquille O'Neal's thumb injury. There's a reason LeBron James isn't walking around with a furrowed brow and Danny Ferry isn't making late-night phone calls to Mikki Moore's agent.The stand at No. 2 in his rankings.
It's because the Cavs don't need Shaq ... yet.
They have bigger issues to deal with. Shaquille O'Neal will have surgery on his right thumb on Monday and will likely miss the rest of the regular season. And they will have to play at least another nine games without Zydrunas Ilgauskas.