Pivotal change: Why Heat should feed Wade, not Shaq

Originally Published: June 14, 2006
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider
MIAMI -- This just in: Pat Riley knows how to coach post players. From Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Patrick Ewing to Alonzo Mourning to Shaquille O'Neal, he's always had a dominant big man to form the focal point of his attack.

So all the recent criticism about Miami's efforts to get the ball to Shaquille O'Neal has missed the point. Riley will always make sure his big guy gets his touches. Even though Shaq's numbers were down in the first few games of the Finals, it had more to do with Dallas' size and double-teaming.

Heading into Game 4, the real question isn't whether Shaq is getting the ball enough -- it's whether he's getting it too much. Riley might know how to coach big guys, but he's never had a perimeter scorer the caliber of Dwyane Wade to build an attack around (sorry, Magic Johnson fans -- he was a passer, not a scorer). Considering Wade's domination of Game 3 once the Heat stopped focusing so much on Shaq and allowed their young star to take over, shouldn't we start asking whether Wade is getting enough touches?


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