Monday, February 22, 2010
JO's time has arrived
16.9 points, 10 Rebounds, 2 blocks in 31.7 minutes - these are Jermaine O'Neal's averages over the last seven games. It seems his production is on the upswing and it could not come at a better time.
Jermaine feels like he can continue to contribute now that he is finally healthy and has been lobbying to get more opportunities to establish an inside-outside game. I actually give Coach Spoelstra credit for limiting Jermaine's minutes - he averages 28.8 per game for the season - and keeping him fresh and healthy for the second half of the season + playoffs.
57 games into the season he is shooting a team leading and career best 54% from the field. The time has come to get his confidence going by featuring him in the offense the way Shaq and Alonzo were. We may yet have a 20-10-2 center down the stretch run of the season if given 35+ minutes. As a matter of fact, JO has gotten 35 minutes or more in 4 of the last 7 games and is averaging 20-12-2.
It is a small sample size, but we already gave up on one "washed up" O'Neal only to watch him make another All-Star game and help Cleveland become the NBA's top team, let's find out what we have in this O'Neal before we give up on him too.