Reader Mark recently posted the following comment:

"Random Question: Why do the Pistons double and triple team Eddie Curry but not Shaq?"

The easy answer is that Eddy Curry is a terrific shooter (57.9 percent) but a lousy passer (he averages 0.9 assists and 3.6 turnovers). To put things into better perspective, he's dished a total of 64 assists on the season while turning the ball over 282 times. This means that he is much more dangerous as a scorer than as a passer. If you double or triple team him, he's unlikely to hit the open man and he's very likely to turn the ball over by forcing a shot (he has more offensive fouls, 82, than assists) or throwing it away. In fact, in three games against the Pistons this season, Eddy notched only two assists but committed 12 turnovers. So if you're the Pistons, you definitely want him passing the ball, not shooting it.

Shaq, on the other hand, is a high-percentage shooter and a talented passer. His numbers aren't great this season (2.0 assists per game compared to 2.5 turnovers), but he does an excellent job of finding the open man and getting his teammates involved. And many of his passes result in ball rotation that leads to an open shot. If you've followed Shaq's career you'll know that his teams are most dangerous when he's dominating the paint, drawing double teams, and hitting the cutters and spot-up shooters.

The Heat's offense -- as long as Dwyane Wade isn't isolating and/or dribbling the hell out of the ball -- is predicated on going inside-out. While Curry is an important component of the Knicks offense, it doesn't run through him (it runs through Stephon Marbury, which is another problem altogether). The Knicks rely on him to score, not make plays. So if you turn him into a passer, you significantly limit his effectiveness. Shaq, on the other hand, can dominate a game even when he isn't scoring.

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