The continued growth/developement of GO, would on the surface, taken a setback last night in Pheonix. Shaq pushed and bullied, dunked and rebounded, and in the end blew some hot air around... but what I saw was...
...... an old and diminshing Shaq getting some of his while he still can. Anybody remember Pippen trying to get into Kobe's head in the playoffs about oooh say 8 yrs ago! I seem to remember that it didn't really work out too well for us. Its what the old over the hill guy does to the heir apparent when and IF they get the chance. More often than not it backfires for the old guy.... they are still old and they just provided incentive to the NEW GUY.( see fan post below).
Which brings me around to something that has been bothering me about GO's play, or more accurately, the way the team plays with him. It seems like we are having a lot of difficulty simply entering the ball to Greg when he gets deep position. There have been a lot of highlights with Greg getting the ball at the hoop and dunking such as the pick and roll alley oop with Sergio a few games back, but there have been just as many opportunities were they simply rotate the ball away from him in the post for a quick jumper from the opposite side of the court or push the ball out for a 3 after he sets a pick and rolls to the hoop. 3's and deep 2's are sexy and effective when they are falling but when they aren't... you get last night!
A lot has been said about how effective Joel has been on offense the last 5 games or so. If you look at his scores they are all coming off the sets that have been implemented for GO. It would appear that BRoy and Blake are just a lot better at delivering the ball in those situations than Sergio and Rudy. While Gregs production is not as simple as where and when he gets the ball, it certianly contributes to it. If you keep Greg involved on the block I think his production will be better on defense and rebounding as well. It just keeps him in the flow of the game especially this early in his career.
If you agree with these observations, wouldn't it appear that keeping GO out of the starting unit will actually slow his developement? Wouldn't appear that his skill set is more suited to the starters than the 2nd unit? If the PTB's success hinges on GO then isn't time to move him up!
BTW this is my first post here on the Edge any feedback is appreciated!