When the NBA’s goofiest superstar joined the locker room of the NBA’s goofiest title contenders, some people wondered if the Cavaliers would be able to find the necessary focus to win a championship this season.
It’s not even about the third round, or just getting to the fourth round. It’s championship or bust for Cleveland, and everyone — from the ball boys to owner Dan Gilbert — knows it.One high-ranking member of the organization called it the “Shaq factor,” crediting four-time champion Shaquille O’Neal with the team’s new tone. While Shaq has taken a subordinate role to LeBron on the court, he’s been as vocal as anyone, dispensing his hard-earned title wisdom to both the team and to individual players.“He’s focused,” Antawn Jamison said. “He’s a guy who’s been in this situation numerous times. You sense a different personality, a different approach, a different focus. He’s letting us know exactly what we need to do as a team and as individuals to take the next step.”
It’s good to see that the Cavs are focused, serious, and 100% committed to their goal, but playing the first round with a different attitude isn’t going to be what gets the Cavaliers a championship. The Cavs are saying all the right things, but there are no magic words that will make the Cavs’ task of getting 16 wins before losing four games in a series any easier. For all the changes in body language or word choice during post-game interviews, execution on the court is still what will determine whether or not the Cavaliers achieve their goal of a championship.