CNNSI: Burning Questions In The East
Old 09-26-2008, 03:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Default CNNSI: Burning Questions In The East

For Raptors fans sake, I hope Aschburner is wrong.

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Originally Posted by CNNSI
Toronto Raptors

Key question: How much does Jermaine O'Neal have left in his tank -- and how sound are his other assorted parts?

O'Neal has always talked a better game than he has played, which generally has been a testament to him as an interview subject, because he was a pretty terrific player through his first NBA decade, mostly with Indiana. But O'Neal is 30 now and he missed 40 games last year with a bum left knee (and a combined 44 the two previous seasons), so when he talks about his fresh start and fine health and excitement in joining the Raptors, it all sounds pleasantly ... hollow. Which it will remain until the six-time All-Star proves he can adapt to playing alongside Chris Bosh, stay healthy and find a dozen other ways to make sure he doesn't go missing north of the border.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Until he can stay healthy for 65-70 games + Playoffs,he'll have comments like this dogging him.He needs to stay healthy this season and put up good numbers (at least 17PPG/8-9RPG) and he'll then go into his final contract year hopefully putting those doubts to rest.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's not like the guy has never delivered. Saying he's only ever talked a good game is pretty unfair. The guy even says that in so many words, but can't resist leaving that impression anyway.

He buggered his knee on purpose? I mean it sucks, as it does with any number of players who are often injured. But I don't think that lends him to being judged for any moral failings.

I have enjoyed the talk about defense, and not looking for numbers other than wins. I don't see how having that kind of focus rings hollow. It's not like he said he was going to come in and carry the team on his own back, which would sound stupid, unwelcome and probably ring hollow as well.

If I was SJ I might even email him.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's not like he's saying that O'Neal wasn't a good player... he's saying O'Neal thinks he's better than he is.

And, I agree with JeffB. O'Neal has much to prove. Up until now, we've speculated that Bosh and O'Neal will click. But, I imagine that Indiana fans think O'Neal is going to kill the Raptors. Let's wait and see.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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He was saying that JO is pretty much all talk in spite of being a good player, which makes his argument pretty dumb to start with. Then look at what JO has actually said. If he puts his emphasis on defense, which is something he even did last year on a bum leg, then it doesn't even matter that much if he clicks with Bosh, he'll be helping the whole team.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I read the thing again - and all he's really saying is that at the age of 30, JO's health has to be a big question mark, regardless of what he says about how healthy he is. Like 30 is the new 35 or something. It might be a valid viewpoint, but he paints it way too broadly with little understanding of what is actually expected of the guy here.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think it's a fair assesment, he's not dissing JO, more like praising his diplomatic skills, obviously he's a guy knows what to say in front of the media. You're not going to hear him admitting to smoking pot, like others ... And, with his history of injuries, and his age, he's clearly a concern. That's common sense, because otherwise, when fully healthy, there wasn't that much of a difference between him and a guy like Duncan and KG, and I don't think SA would consider a Duncan for TJ fire sale
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