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Ian Thomsen
October 26, 2009
MACCABI TEL AVIV used to ask Anthony Parker to do everything—score, rebound, defend, create for others. He was essentially the LeBron James of the Euroleague years before James became known for his comprehensive contributions in the NBA. "I was given an opportunity to show what I can do," says the 6'6" Parker, who left Israel in 2006 to sign with the Raptors. "I'm just fortunate a lot of [NBA] teams observed that."
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October 26, 2009

1 Cleveland Cavaliers

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Times that Shaquille O'Neal has led the NBA in field goal percentage; he broke Wilt Chamberlain's record in 2008--09, when he shot 60.9%. Shaq's career mark (58.2%) is second to Artis Gilmore's (59.9%).


They can throw it in to Shaquille O'Neal from time to time, but they can't slow it down and wait for him to get down in the post and then play through him. The worry is that Shaq will clog the middle and cut off LeBron James's lanes to the basket. On the other hand, if Shaq gets in deep position, there ain't nothing you can do to stop him.... LeBron's passing is very good—you really see it when he throws a bounce pass off the dribble, a play that separates good point guards from great ones, because they don't have to stop and look to make the pass. He has a size advantage on almost everyone, but he doesn't post up; he believes he can drive to score and get the and-one. I don't think he has faith in his back-to-the-basket game yet, and I wonder why.... Mo Williams's shooting went sour during the playoffs; maybe that will help him get his act together. Still, he's a good fit for this team because he's not a prototype point guard, which they don't need because LeBron handles the ball so much.... Anderson Varejão will benefit from the attention Shaq draws. The defenders will have to come off Varejão—they can't come off Williams or LeBron—so when teams double, he'll be standing alone under the rim, getting easy baskets.

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