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View Full Version : Could Shaq (Phoenix version) have led a team to the Finals?



Chronz
04-03-2014, 05:24 PM
Back in 09, when Shaq had that one last hurrah season, making the All-Star game at the tender age of 36, what team could have most used the big fella? I know Shaq owes much of that bounce back season to the training staff in PHX but lets say he could have stayed healthy.

And Im not just talking about him winning with whoever won the title that year, I mean him winning while playing a very significant role. Be it the 1-3rd best player or something.

Just wondering if what Duncan is doing (arguably leading a contender at 37) could be duplicated for this bigman.

Kaner
04-03-2014, 06:09 PM
I don't think so but two most likely teams Shaq ended up on after that season Celtics and Cavs

Celtics potentially beat the lakers and Magic since Shaq would be alot tougher on Howard and Bynum. Shaq would probably not have been considered a top 3 player on the team even if he was one of the 3 most important pieces.

Cavs are a similar story but I still think they lose to the Lakers in the Finals. Shaq would have been the definite #2 though and it would have been a good series.

Dallas is the final team that I think really benefits from Shaq and becomes favorites to win but again would be debatable if he would be considered a top 3 player on the team.

Hawkeye15
04-03-2014, 06:23 PM
yeah, first team that came to mind is the Celtics for sure.

abe_froman
04-03-2014, 06:30 PM
lead a team? no....but he could have been a great complimentary player ,as a number 3 i think he would have vaulted any contender to a finals trip

TheMightyHumph
04-03-2014, 07:51 PM
I gotta go with 'no'.

cmellofan15
04-03-2014, 08:27 PM
Just gonna throw out a random one...

I think hee would have been pretty helpful on the Blazers team that year. Very similar to what they are now with Lopez, and add on a prime B-Roy. Having Pryzbilla and Shaq would have been great not sure how well it would have played out though. Could have taken that two seed that my Nuggets got that season and had the easy way into the WCF like we did.

king4day
04-03-2014, 08:38 PM
Good question. He was really good that year. A team would have needed some semblance of talent for sure though. I would need to know team rosters but I do believe he could have helped a team win in the right system.

NBA_Starter
04-03-2014, 08:46 PM
I will say nah.

cmellofan15
04-03-2014, 09:01 PM
so insightful.

JohnStockton
04-03-2014, 09:42 PM
Given how weak the league is at center, I think there are a number of teams he could have helped out a lot. Any of the 50-win teams would have been able to win it all with him at that level, though it is hard to read chemistry.

Would the Cavs have pulled it off? They had Shaq the following year and it didn't help much. Denver? Will Billups in control of the ball, I think they would have devastated the west, but the Lakers would have still been a huge problem, and having coached Shaq for so long, Phil Jackson would have known where his Achilles heel was.

The Bulls might have been able to win the East with him that year.

ILLUSIONIST^248
04-04-2014, 02:00 AM
You seem to be a pretty smart guy FC, but my god, your thread making ability is terrible.

JasonJohnHorn
04-04-2014, 06:01 AM
I think there are a couple of teams that Shaq could have lifted to a title. Denver and Portland, as others have mentioned, and if the Pistons had kept Billups and added Shaq instead, I think they could have taken the east that year.

Interesting scenario. That Phoenix training staff works miracles.

3RDASYSTEM
04-04-2014, 07:18 AM
PISTONS could have definitely used him pre IVERSON media bench fiasco

they were sitting at 4th seed before the media bs and just needed a big lug to clog the paint since they had DICE/SHEED who could stretch the paint for SHAQ to operate who 18 and 9 was still valuable, he was pushing 40 yrs old pretty much so he was still unreal just too heavy and beat up after 17yrs or so but would have been perfect vet big and would have helped that C's squad out, and few others

PhillyFaninLA
04-04-2014, 07:39 AM
The Utah Jazz may have been a title contender with Shaq that year.

MrfadeawayJB
04-04-2014, 10:03 AM
Quite a few teams could have used him

arlubas
04-04-2014, 10:41 AM
If he couldn't lead his actual team to a record better than 46-36 or even the POs, I doubt he could've led any other one to the finals. But he certainly would have been a nice 3rd wheel on any contender, no doubt.

Chronz
04-04-2014, 12:11 PM
If he couldn't lead his actual team to a record better than 46-36 or even the POs, I doubt he could've led any other one to the finals. But he certainly would have been a nice 3rd wheel on any contender, no doubt.

Thats pretty harsh, they were one of the best teams to miss the playoffs, especially given Amare's injury and the fact that the team was being held back by Porter for much of the year. Once they got back to running, with Gentry at the helm, the Suns were back to their winning ways.

Chronz
04-04-2014, 12:16 PM
Agreed on Detroit being the best fit, definitely could've helped them while being arguably one of their best players.

NoahH
04-04-2014, 03:02 PM
One year removed from his last hurrah in Phoenix he **** the bed in Cleveland so no

Chronz
04-04-2014, 03:42 PM
One year removed from his last hurrah in Phoenix he **** the bed in Cleveland so no
Yea but one year can make a huge difference when you're talking about really old players, especially given that Shaq ended both of his final seasons injured to some degree.

slashsnake
04-05-2014, 09:36 AM
Yea but one year can make a huge difference when you're talking about really old players, especially given that Shaq ended both of his final seasons injured to some degree.

3rd wheel yes. 2nd wheel with a great player (top 3) and great role players, sure thing..

Chrisclover
04-05-2014, 09:42 AM
yeah, first team that came to mind is the Celtics for sure.

Celtics were stacked with veteran all stars.if Shaq joined, then he could have lessen the load of KG, then KG probably wouldnt have got hurt and Celtics might defend their title.

Chrisclover
04-05-2014, 09:49 AM
He might be slow but his foot work was still top-notch. If he could stay healthy, he would still be an intimidating offensive threat.too bad he didnt get a 5th ring to tie up with his old adversary, Kobe.

SteveNash
04-05-2014, 09:54 AM
Cavs, Shaq would have destroyed Dwight Howard in that series

sunsfan88
04-05-2014, 05:52 PM
How much of his success that year was due to Nash spoon feeding him & Amare drawing a lot of attention from opposing defenses?

Chronz
04-07-2014, 01:07 AM
How much of his success that year was due to Nash spoon feeding him & Amare drawing a lot of attention from opposing defenses?

Good Q. Im guessing you think its enough to make a difference that wouldn't be available on a better team?

sunsfan88
04-07-2014, 02:23 AM
Good Q. Im guessing you think its enough to make a difference that wouldn't be available on a better team?

From watching that team play, I remember Nash creating some very open looks. Sure Shaq was a force in the paint in his own power but alot of his #s had to do with Nash imo. He got more opportunities after Amare got injured too. I remember he had like a 40 pt game once I think.

Chronz
04-07-2014, 12:53 PM
From watching that team play, I remember Nash creating some very open looks. Sure Shaq was a force in the paint in his own power but alot of his #s had to do with Nash imo. He got more opportunities after Amare got injured too. I remember he had like a 40 pt game once I think.

From your first post it seemed like you implied Amare helped Shaq's production by drawing attention away, now its that his departure opened up more opportunities, so you're confusing me here, either way nothing changes the fact that the individual is still mostly responsible.

We agree on Nash tho, that guy made just about every bigman better. But statistically, its hard to find much proof of that. Shaq's FG% didn't budge in the 600 minutes he played without Nash. I dont think Amare did too much for Shaq but the 2 were a great offensive pairing that was being held back by their coach.

THE MTL
04-07-2014, 12:58 PM
Shaq had that resurgence at the expense of the team though. Phoenix was far more successful before him and Porters system

Chronz
04-07-2014, 01:08 PM
Shaq had that resurgence at the expense of the team though. Phoenix was far more successful before him and Porters system

Porter was to blame, not Shaq. As soon as Porter got the boot, the Suns were back to running, in fact they posted the highest pace numbers of the SSOL era in those select games and Shaq's resurgence held steadfast. It had more to do with their training staff and the easier schedule they had Shaq on.

arlubas
04-07-2014, 04:12 PM
Thats pretty harsh, they were one of the best teams to miss the playoffs, especially given Amare's injury and the fact that the team was being held back by Porter for much of the year. Once they got back to running, with Gentry at the helm, the Suns were back to their winning ways.
It is a reality though and it also shows that he couldn't make the difference on a much smaller scale like advancing to the POs, so what makes you think he could produce at the same level with much higher stakes and way tighter defenses that come with a trip to the Finals?

I remember that season because I was watching how Shaq was doing, I wanted him to have one last good season. But I'll agree with the person that said much of that success was Shaq taking advantage of the opportunities created for him and the team by Nash. He (Shaq) did have a solid year but it was one that you knew wasn't gonna repeat itself or even continue on another system. It's no coincidence that once he got to the Cavs, who already had a nice team, he couldn't really be the difference maker they wanted him to be.

Chronz
04-07-2014, 09:28 PM
It is a reality though and it also shows that he couldn't make the difference on a much smaller scale like advancing to the POs, so what makes you think he could produce at the same level with much higher stakes and way tighter defenses that come with a trip to the Finals?
That he would be on a better team. One whos coach wouldnt hold the team back, one in which Shaq could be surrounded by teammates that compliment him.


I remember that season because I was watching how Shaq was doing, I wanted him to have one last good season. But I'll agree with the person that said much of that success was Shaq taking advantage of the opportunities created for him and the team by Nash.
Maybe, but just how drastic do you mean? Its a fact that his scoring rate was higher when Nash wasnt on the court and we already know (healthy) Shaq was finishing plays at a high level anywhere he went. Thats what Shaq is, an ultimate finisher, seems unjust to only credit one side of the process when its a 2-man game.


He (Shaq) did have a solid year but it was one that you knew wasn't gonna repeat itself or even continue on another system. It's no coincidence that once he got to the Cavs, who already had a nice team, he couldn't really be the difference maker they wanted him to be.
Im not seeing why it would be a coincidence, dude was old, he was great on the Cavs once the team found some chemistry, sadly injuries struck right before the playoffs, that tends to happen with age, that and Mike Brown being a dunce didn't help. I wouldn't have counted on Shaq repeating the same success even if he had stayed in Phoenix, its just not logical.

sunsfan88
04-08-2014, 04:46 AM
From your first post it seemed like you implied Amare helped Shaq's production by drawing attention away, now its that his departure opened up more opportunities, so you're confusing me here, either way nothing changes the fact that the individual is still mostly responsible.

We agree on Nash tho, that guy made just about every bigman better. But statistically, its hard to find much proof of that. Shaq's FG% didn't budge in the 600 minutes he played without Nash. I dont think Amare did too much for Shaq but the 2 were a great offensive pairing that was being held back by their coach.
Yea I kinda forgot that was the season in which Amare got hurt that's why I changed stances.

I think leaving Nash was the biggest reason for Shaq's #s to drop in Cleveland with a worse training staff being the 2nd reason.

arlubas
04-08-2014, 07:38 AM
Maybe, but just how drastic do you mean? Its a fact that his scoring rate was higher when Nash wasnt on the court and we already know (healthy) Shaq was finishing plays at a high level anywhere he went. Thats what Shaq is, an ultimate finisher, seems unjust to only credit one side of the process when its a 2-man game.
I don't, all kudos to him for being able to finish. I just don't think he could've created as much opportunities for himself without Nash on that team consistently, because that would mean he would've consumed extra energy trying to create for himself which would lead to him getting tired a lot quicker.


Im not seeing why it would be a coincidence, dude was old, he was great on the Cavs once the team found some chemistry, sadly injuries struck right before the playoffs, that tends to happen with age, that and Mike Brown being a dunce didn't help. I wouldn't have counted on Shaq repeating the same success even if he had stayed in Phoenix, its just not logical.
I just don't see it man. You are talking about Shaq being the driving force of a team that goes to the finals. I ain't even sure he would've managed to sustain the same level of success if he reached triple digits on games played for the season. He was just a complimentary piece to me at that point, a really valuable presence down low with restrictions because of his age.

tr3ymill3r
04-08-2014, 08:11 AM
Did he? No. Could he have? Yes, he should have won a ton of more championships if he had a heart for basketball and actually wanted to get better and put down the fork.

arlubas
04-08-2014, 08:13 AM
Did he? No. Could he have? Yes, he should have won a ton of more championships if he had a heart for basketball and actually wanted to get better and put down the fork.
The debate is whether he could've at that certain age. I don't think there's any sane b-ball fan who doesn't think Shaq could've won more rings if he was more focused and committed to his physical condition.

Chronz
04-10-2014, 08:15 PM
I don't, all kudos to him for being able to finish. I just don't think he could've created as much opportunities for himself without Nash on that team consistently, because that would mean he would've consumed extra energy trying to create for himself which would lead to him getting tired a lot quicker.

Probably, but without gauging just how different, thats not saying much.. It sounds like you're not giving him enough credit for creating those passing lanes for Nash, its a mutually beneficial relationship IMO. Either way, I just dont see how its fair to critique Shaq by subjectively projecting what he would do on that team without his best player, when what Im proposing is to put Shaq on a DIFFERENT team. Cant just take away Nash like that man. Lots of players would play differently with different loads.


I just don't see it man. You are talking about Shaq being the driving force of a team that goes to the finals. I ain't even sure he would've managed to sustain the same level of success if he reached triple digits on games played for the season. He was just a complimentary piece to me at that point, a really valuable presence down low with restrictions because of his age.
The way I see it, you have to differentiate what a player can give you for a regular season grind vs what he can provide in the playoffs. Shaq had a light schedule but he had played in the 3rd most games of his career, so it really was about health with him. Thats why I would focus more on the team he would be on. What would be the 3 best destinations for him, in your opinion? Plz dont say Phoenix.





The debate is whether he could've at that certain age. I don't think there's any sane b-ball fan who doesn't think Shaq could've won more rings if he was more focused and committed to his physical condition.

I think this gets overemphasized, that could technically hold true for various greats I suppose but he gets a bad rap IMO.

lol, please
04-11-2014, 01:16 AM
Back in 09, when Shaq had that one last hurrah season, making the All-Star game at the tender age of 36, what team could have most used the big fella? I know Shaq owes much of that bounce back season to the training staff in PHX but lets say he could have stayed healthy.

And Im not just talking about him winning with whoever won the title that year, I mean him winning while playing a very significant role. Be it the 1-3rd best player or something.

Just wondering if what Duncan is doing (arguably leading a contender at 37) could be duplicated for this bigman.

People forget how dominanat Shaq was. If he was fully healthy that year he would take any team to the finals.