View Full Version : Shaq : 90's Edition

09-11-2011, 12:36 PM

Shaq is an amazing player, he was widely considered one of the best players in the league from his Rookie Season in 93 all the way until 05
when he was runner up for the MVP Award.
Even in 06 I would argue he was still one of the most valuable players in the league.
Pretty amazing for a player to be that impactful over a 14 year stretch.

Certain people recently have told me they weren't sure if Shaq was a great player until the late 90's and early 00's and although they never truly
followed him as a player they assume his lack of success in winning titles in that span must mean that he himself was not as good of a player
or not as capable of the play he shocked and awed the world with from 00-05.

However since I have followed Shaq since he was a Rookie and know in great detail the history of his accomplishments I feel its time to dispel
those myths for the people who are not familiar with his early career and how great a player he was from 93-99.


I'd like to start out by sharing some interesting statistics I've collected from
Shaqs post season career from 94-99

The Year 93 is not included because as a Rookie Shaqs team (The Magic) did not make the playoffs.

From 94-99 Shaq lost Once in the 1st round, Twice in the 2nd round, Twice in the CNFinals and once in the Finals.
That is 15 different Playoff Series.

Shaq was the MVP of 11 of those 15 Series.
Shaq was tied for MVP in 2 other Series.

Shaq was the best player on the court in 11/15 of the Playoff Series he partook in from 94-99.
And in only 2/15 Series was he clearly not the best player on the court.

Interestingly enough the only player from the 90's who was able to outplay Shaq over the course of a series was not Hakeem or MJ but actually
Karl Malone.

Number of PS Games where Oneal was MVP (the best player on the court)
94 - 2/3
95 - 15/20 (tied for 1 other)
96 - 8/12
97 - 5/9
98 - 9/13
99 - 5/7 (tied for 1 other)

94-99 MVP PS Games.
44 / 64 Games

These are pretty mind boggling numbers... and they show how consistently and ridiculously Dominant young Oneal was in the playoffs.

Even though many times his teams were simply not good enough to advance, Oneal himself was quite often still the best player on the Court
and the best player (MVP) of the series he partook in.

Quick Review
I think other then perhaps in 97 where Shaqs PS play against the Jazz was subpar the main reason Oneals teams failed to Advanced "especially"
his 97-99 teams was because his supporting casts were simply not good enough, and even if you think they were they simply performed "terribly" it
doesn't matter how good your star player performs if the rest of the team bricks 70% of their shots its very unlikely your going to advance let alone
win more then a single game.

Example : in 95 if Anderson didn't choke in G1 and Penny outplayed Drexler do I think Oneal could have won that series? Yes I do think he would
have had a very strong chance at doing so even considering that the rest of Hakeems supporting staff was superior to Oneals and played very well
that series.

Could Shaq have gotten past the Jazz in 98 if he received even a tiny smidgen of support from his teammates instead of consistent brick laying...
maybe? I'd say they'd make it an interesting series atleast maybe taking it to 6-7 games. Those teams were simply too reliant on Shaq to
everyone else on the opposing teams roster, and when you had KMalone playing at an MVP level they simply faded and gave up.

in 96/99 LA simply faced teams with far better rosters and add to the fact that Oneals supporting casts also played poorly (especially in 97)
its pretty obvious why those teams failed to advance.


Now, lets look at how Shaq performed in each individual series he played in from 94-99

94 - 1st Round Exit : 2nd Year Shaq is the best player (MVP) of the series and is the best player in 2/3 Games Played.

95 - Shaq is the best player (MVP) of the 1st, 2nd and CNFinals. He is the best player in 13/17 Games Played
Finals Exit : 3rd Year Shaq is either the best player (MVP) of the series or is tied for (MVP) with Hakeem.
Finals : 3rd Year Shaq is the best player in 2/4 games and about equal in the 3rd, even though
he has a great game in the Clincher with 25/12/4/3 he is outplayed by Hakeem.

96 - Shaq is the best player (MVP) of the 1st and 2nd Rounds. He is the best player in 6/8 Games Played.
CNFinals Exit : Shaq is the best player (MVP) of the series and is the best player on the court in 2/4 Games.
Extra Notes : Pippen is MVP of G3, Jordan scores 45 Points in the Final game of the series G4 on 69% shooting after shooting fairly poorly from the
field in games 1-3. Shaq scores 28 Points in the same game (G4) on 11-13 shooting 85% and shoots 6-9 from the FT Line 67%.

97 - Shaq is the best player (MVP) of the 1st Round. He is the best player in 3/4 Games Played
2nd Round Exit : Karl Malone is the best player (MVP) of the series and is the best player in 3/5 Games.
Notes : Shaqs worst PS Series by far from 94-97 however he was (by far) the best player for LA in the series and his supporting cast truly played
terribly, so even if Shaq had somehow managed to have an epic series with the entire Jazz team swarming him I doubt they would have won the
anyway or taken it past 5 games.

98 - Shaq is the best player (MVP) of the 1st and 2nd Rounds. He is the best player in 8/9 Games Played.
CNFinals Exit : Karl Malone is the best player (MVP) of the series and is the best player in 3/4 Games.
Notes : Unlike in 97 where Shaq had a subpar series Oneal was "very good" in 98 and was only slightly worse then KMalone in 2/3 games
KMalone was more valuable/out produced him. so Oneal came very close to being the best player on the court in 3/4 games.
Extra Note : Oneals supporting Cast played terribly (game summary's for this series at very bottom)

99 - Shaq is the best player (MVP) of the 1st Round. He is the best player in 3/4 Games Played
2nd Round Exit : Shaq is tied with Duncan for (MVP) of the series, Shaq is better in 2/4 Games Played, Duncan is better in G3 and they are
about equal in overall production/impact in G4 although I think Duncan was slightly better.
Notes : Duncan slightly outproduces Shaq in this series but overall I think Shaq was the better player.

The main difference in this series is that Duncan had a much (much much) better supporting cast and while he could rely on DRob who was still
a 15/10/2 threat (behind Duncan) and one of the best defensive centers of this Era to cover Shaq, Shaq had to rely on an short, old, and injured
J.R. Reid (his PS averages (3pts/4rebounds/35%fg) to cover Duncan.

98 CNFinals Game Summary's (Jazz)

G1 : Shaq has a subpar game putting up 19/10 (5offensive) but his supporting cast played far worse with Bryant shooting 4-14 Van Exel going
1-9 and Rick Fox the only other starter besides Shaq in double figures (Eddie J scored 6 Points) they didn't have much of a chance here.

G2 : Shaq is Dominant 14-21 from the field scoring 31 points, Eddie J also has a decent game but the rest of the LA supporting cast plays
not managing double figures and besides Horry (starter) who went 0-2 the other 2 starters shot 30% from the Field and Bryant/Exel again both
took 10+ shots while shooting 30% from the field.

G3 : Shaq is once against left trying to lift the load while his team mates falter. Oneal scores 39 points and pulls down 15 boards before fouling
out, none of the other starters contribute much if anything besides Eddie J who put up 16 points but did so on 6-19 shooting. Van Exel is terrible
off the bench shooting 2-13.

G4 : Shaq once again is forced to carry the load and trys to extend the series by putting up 38 points on 60% shooting but is given very
little help by his supporting cast. other then Eddie J who had a decent overall game with 19/6 the rest of his starters combined for 13 points on
4-17 shooting. Bench production was awful with Van Exel contributing another awful shooting night going 3-8 and Elden Campbell going 1-7 the only
other bench player who even had attempts was Kobe with 2 FG attempts.


How did Oneal fare in closeout games? Lets take a look.

94 - G3 Pacers | Shaq = 9-17, 23 Points, 14 Boards (6 offensive)
Supporting Cast | Penny manages only 13/4(assists) and commits 10 turnovers.
D.Scott and Nicky Anderson (both starters 40+Min) combine to shoot 7-27 (ouch)..
very little production off the bench.. really Shaqs supporting cast couldn't have played much worse this game.

95 - G4 Rockets | Shaq = 11-19, 25 Points, 12 Boards (3 offensive), 3 Assists, 4 Blocks

Oneal Supporting Cast = Penny is good with 25/5/5, HGrant go's for 11/12 which I guess is decent, not much else from anyone else except
BShaw who provides some scoring off the bench.

Hakeem Supporting Cast = Drexler is good with 15/9/8/2 (near triple double)
Horry is great with 21/13/5
Mario Elie is great with 22 Points on 9-11 shooting and 4 steals.
Cassel n Smith don't play great but they knock down timely 3pointers and shoot perfect from the line.

96 - G4 Bulls | Shaq = 11-13, 28 Points, 9 Boards, 3 Assists, 3 Blocks, 85%FG, 67%FT
Notes : Close Game, Magic lose due to the brilliant play of Jordan (45 Points 70%FG) and the failure of many players outside of Shaq contributing
for Orlando. Penny drops 28/8 but shoots 42% from the field and 1-6 from downtown.
only other starters who contributed combine to shoot 7-19 with D.Scott shooting especially poor from the field.and having a terrible all around game.

97 - G5 Jazz | Shaq = 9-17, 23 Points, 13 Boards (6 offensive), 5 Assists
Supporting Cast (no V.E.) 14-49
Kobe - 4-14
Eddie J - 4-14
Elden - 1-13

98 - G4 Jazz | Shaq = 14-24, 38 Points, 58%FG
Supporting Cast (no E.J.) 10-34

99 - G4 SAS | Shaq = 12-23, 36 Points, 14 Boards (8 offensive)
Rest of Starters + Kobe 13-35

I worked very hard to compile all of this information, I hope it is enjoyed and appreciated.

Thank you. :)

09-11-2011, 01:11 PM
i didnt know that there was such a thing as series MVP besides the finals series MVP

09-11-2011, 01:54 PM
It's not a literal "MVP" its just a way of describing a players production/impact and showing that he was the best overall player in those series.

If Shaq loses in the Semi-Finals because his "Team" gets outplayed or his "Supporting Cast" plays poorly but he himself still far outplays and outproduces every other player on the opposing team he is still the "MVP" of that series (best/most valuable player).

This is a "Team" sport, the best "Team" wins not the team with the best player.

Note : of those 15 playoff series Shaq's team won/advanced in 9 of them.

09-11-2011, 08:31 PM
And yet you still managed to leave off his two best seasons. Shaq was at his absolute best in 2000 and 2001.

09-11-2011, 08:36 PM
is that OP stretching for everyone else? needs to be edited.

09-11-2011, 08:38 PM

09-12-2011, 12:54 AM

Sadds The Gr8
09-12-2011, 01:01 AM

09-12-2011, 01:30 AM

09-12-2011, 02:21 AM

09-12-2011, 03:20 AM

09-12-2011, 03:36 AM

09-12-2011, 04:38 AM

09-12-2011, 02:01 PM
ok everyone, I fixed the spacing on the original post.

I didn't think it was such a big deal but its fixed now anyway.

Enjoy xP

09-12-2011, 04:01 PM
shaq was a beast indeed

09-12-2011, 04:09 PM

09-13-2011, 03:35 PM
:flag: Bump