I was watching the Miami Heat game on Thursday and the announcers started to discuss if they thought the Heat had a chance at winning the title. One announcer came out and said of course they do Shaq will come back refreshed and hungry again, and they will make a run for the title.
Is it really that easy? Miami is only 5 and a half games back in the east right now, and they could easily vault to the top with the return of Shaq. But I only see that happening if he can return at 100% and be able to sustain a high level of play for a good stretch. Shaq turns 35 this year and although that might not sound old remember he is a big guy. NBA Basketball is a high paced sport that is very rough on even young guys joints and ligaments.
Also Shaq has had trouble keeping in shape for the past few years. Is an out of shape and deteriorating Shaq better than 99% of the big men in the league? Sure, but can he carry a team that is currently standing 9th in the east for a title run? I highly doubt it.