Shaq says teammates need to find 'better' ways to get him the ball

Updated: December 8, 2007, 1:50 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Shaquille O'Neal once again is less than pleased with his role in the Miami Heat's offense and, once again, he let everyone know it.

His End of the Bargain

Thursday's loss to Portland was the Heat's fifth straight defeat and sixth straight game in which Shaquille O'Neal hasn't taken more than 10 attempts (he was 6-for-6) from the field. He's shooting 62 percent but the Heat have come up short in all five games.

After the Heat's 14th loss in 18 games to start the season, a 112-106 loss to Portland on Thursday night, O'Neal said his teammates need to feed him the ball more.

Several weeks ago, teammate Dwyane Wade called O'Neal out for not being motivated enough to turn his game around and shake Miami out of a lousy 1-8 start.

But, O'Neal said Thursday, his game is fine and the Heat would be better if they looked for him more often.

"If I'm taking 20 shots a game, and I'm only making two, then you can say my production is going down," O'Neal said, "but I'm still shooting 60 or 65 percent from the field. So they've got to find better ways to get me the ball. It should be simple."

Through Thursday, O'Neal is shooting 59 percent from the floor while averaging 15 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.

When asked if he let his teammates or Riley know how he felt, the Miami Herald said O'Neal replied, "I shouldn't have to [expletive] communicate that."

At the time Wade used the media to roust Shaq, O'Neal said he was fine with the tactic.

"We have that kind of relationship where we could talk to each other like that," O'Neal said then. "He was right. We're fine."

After Thursday's loss, O'Neal had suggestions for whomever is with him on the floor.

"Guys should drive, they should cut. I'm a great passer from the post," he said, according to the Herald. "Other guys have to take it personally if they're fronting me and backing me. You have to say, 'OK, they're disrespecting me, so I'm going to get 40 on you tonight.' "