Do you honestly think that IF Shaq and Wade were healthy throughout the 1st half....at the midway point they were gonna be JUST .500??
Yes, I think if both Shaq and Wade were there for the first half of the season I still think they would have been a .500 team. I remember back at the first weeks of the season when both were playing and they were horrible! Riley got so desperate he had to bench some of his main starters outside of the big 2 because they just stunk it up (Payton, Walker, Posey) and play Kapono and even Dorrel Wright. Riley's presence had become so divisive in the locker room, the team only improved once he left for surgery and Rothstein came in to clean up the mess. The other part of the equation is that Shaq plays lazy and half ass during most of the regular season. His defense has been awful, and now relies more on his hooks and footwork on offense because his shoulder hit routine is getting called by the refs. Now Shaq has to play with the most effort he has done in his career just to get into the playoffs. They got 2 things going for them. One, the Eastern Conference sucks so bad its laughable, and second, the role players that are in the lineup now are playing better.