Previous ArticlesAmar'e's comin'... duck!
by Sam Smith
Posted on Nov 7
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or their Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.
Call Shaq the Big Spectator tonight.
That’s because Shaquille O’Neal is taking a breather against the Bulls for tonight’s game, and it’s not because the Suns don’t think they have much to worry about that with Drew Gooden, Joakim Noah and Aaron Gray. Well, they might think that, but that’s not the reason Shaq isn’t playing.
It’s their story and they’re sticking with it.
"We want to manage his games," said general manager Steve Kerr. "We’re resting him this season certain nights. We’ll play it by ear this season, work with him, communicate. He’s averaged (playing) about 55 games the last five years. Rather than have his health dictate it, maybe we can by determining the rest."
It’s an interesting concept and may produce for the Suns late in the season when they need Shaq’s size in the half court playoff game. Shaq’s always treated the regular season as a training exercise, which is one reason why he hasn’t achieved perhaps quite what he could have, though he’s had a dominant career. He was supposed to sit out Wednesday in Indiana, but played because the Suns were shorthanded when Matt Barnes had to leave the team.
"Shaq’s been really good," said Kerr. "He’s shown he’s very capable of having big nights.
O’Neal is averaging 12 points and eight rebounds on the season, but had 15 points and 13 rebounds in the season opening win in San Antonio.
"You can’t count on him every night," said Kerr. "We want to manage games, rest him certain nights. Match up, have him play certain nights and sit others."
Nothing personal, but with the Bulls front court, it made sense for the Suns to give Shaq a night off with a game in Milwaukee Saturday night against a much bigger front line.
But could Aaron Gray now get 50?
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or their Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors.