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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:28 am
By rekindling one of the most controversial and heated debates in sports. The two best big men of the era. Which was better?
Shaq vs. Hakeem

Career numbers
Through 14 nba seasons, shaq has put up:

26.3 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.5 bpg, .7 spg, 2.9 TOpg, with 58% fg, and 53% ft.

through 14 seasons, hakeem put up:

23.8 ppg, 11.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, 3.4 bpg, 1.9 spg, 3.2 TOpg, on 52% fg, and 72% ft.

Looks pretty dead even. Shaq had a 2.5 ppg advantage which is offset by a 2.1 bpg+spg advantage. Pretty much a wash in turnovers. fts basically offset the fgs.

But many say that, while hakeem had more longevity, they'd take shaq because he was more dominant at his peak.

most seem to think shaq has hakeem beat there. i'd say most would agree while they each had about 12-13 season primes, they each had a 3 season stretch that separated it from everything else, the three seasons where they were among the top two in the league: hakeem 93-95, shaq 00-02.

in those 3 seasons, shaq put up:

28.6 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.6 bpg, .6 spg, and 2.8 TOpg.

in those 3 seasons, hakeem put up:

27 ppg, 12 rpg, 3.6 apg, 3.8 bpg, 1.8 spg, and 3.3 TOpg.

looks pretty even. in those 3 playoffs, the numbers for shaq:

29.9 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.4 bpg, .5 spg, and 3.0 TOpg.

hakeem:

29.8 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 4.4 apg, 3.7 bpg, 1.5 spg, and 3.5 TOpg.

shaq takes rebounding big time, hakeem takes everything else but points big time. Once again, hakeem is even with shaq in the regular season and takes him to school in the playoffs.

Now lets look at Hakeem vs Shaq in their 8 year peak using EFF (that is we will use their top 8 EFF scores):
Olajuwon Shaq
34.73 33.82
32.83 33.48
32.38 30.99
31.88 30.72
31.02 29.85
30.71 29.33
30.18 28.9
29.57 28.85
31.6625 30.7425

and
In their 3 year peak (3 top scores):

Olajuwon: 33.31
Shaq: 32.76

so this whole shaq was better than anybody else's prime when he was in his prime is totally wrong

And hakeem had much more longevity to go along with being equal at worst to shaq at his peak.

As they aged: (ages 31+---this is something that can be ongoing):

Age Olajuwon Shaq
31 32.83 24.93
32 31.88 24.44
33 30.18 20.75
34 25.35 ?
35 22.34 ?
36 22.94 ?

Hakeem was equal in his peak to shaq and better as he aged. He outperformed shaq in the playoffs.

Playoffs

as for playoff numbers, shaq's are at:

26.6 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.4 bpg, .6 spg, 3.0 TOpg, 56% fg, 52% ft.

taking out his last 5 game appearance for toronto when he was 39 and went scoreless in 3 of the 5 games. hakeem's stats are at:

26.6 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 3.4 bpg, 1.7 spg, 3.0 TOpg, 53% fg, and 72% ft.

exact same points, one less rebound, more assists, and 1 block and 1 steal better than shaq. and only off by 3% on the shooting.

up to the same age as shaq here were hakeem's playoff stats:
27.8 ppg, 12 rpg, 3.3 apg, 3.6 bpg, 2 spg

the numbers say hakeem outperformed shaq in the playoffs.

Now let's look at their three best playoff runs

Playoff runs (minimum conference finals reached):
Hakeem in 95:
33-10.3-4.5-2.8blk 1.18 stl 53.1% shooting
94:
28.9-11-4.3-4blk-1.74 stl 51.9% shooting
86:
26.9-11.9-2-3.45 blk-2 stl 53% shooting

Shaq:
00:
30.7-15.4-3.1-2.39 blk-.56 stl-56.6% shooting
01: 30.4-15.4-3.2-2.38blk-.44stl-55.5% shooting
02: 28.5-12.6-2.8-2.53 blk-.526 stl-52.9% shooting

So once again they put up pretty equivalent numbers, despite the fact that hakeem was facing

Ewing DROB & Shaq all in their primes.

Lasalle Thompson (12.6/9.6)---this is important for when we look @ Shaq's opposition

A still strong Kareem

And the Chief who was still in his prime.

compared to shaq's competition of

Divac ----best year was 12.3/8---worse than Lasalle's.

Sabonis---11.8/7.8---worse than Lassale

Smits---12.9/5.1---again worse than Lasalle

David Robinson (way past his prime)---14.4/8.6

and Mutombo


So Shaq faced two players better than Olajuwon's 6th best. he should have been putting up way better numbers.

but people say that shaq makes up for statistical inferiority in one way that is the only way that matters.

Rings.

let's walk through all of shaq and hakeem's finals appearances

1986 - A young Hakeem takes a team with ralph sampson and an aging john lucas to the finals and loses to a boston team that was better than any team shaq ever faced in the finals. The team had much less talent than any team shaq ever went to the finals with, but hakeem almost single handedly took them there. Though he was at a young age, you will note that the celtics used a triple team on him fairly often. He still dominated their front line.

1994 - Hakeem's rockets meet up with the knicks. Talent wise they were overmatched. An old Otis thorpe was their second best player. He was worse than the third best player on a lot of shaq teams. Robert Horry was their third best player. Hakeem got the most blocks ever in a series and they won against a team with a far better supporting cast. That's how much he outclassed patrick ewing.

1995 - Hakeem and Shaq go head to head in the finals. Hakeem took a team that finished the season 17-18 IIRC and had the sixth seed. shaq had a team with a superior supporting cast and they were such overwhelming favorites that 100,000 Orlando Magic Championship issues of SI were printed before the series started. They had Penny to Hakeem's Clyde. They had Grant to hakeem's thorpe. They had anderson to hakeem's Smith. Down and down the list the Magic outclassed the Rockets in every spot, except center. Hakeem showed up shaq that series, shaq being in his prime and Hakeem being over the hill. This was shaq at his fastest and most athletic and he still couldn't keep up with hakeem. Shaq's superior team who were the favorites were swept. And it was all because hakeem was that much better than shaq.

1998 and 1999 - Shaq has stacked that finish before they should

2000-2002 - Shaq plays weak competition in the finals and takes stacked teams all the way.

2003 - Shaq doesn't make the finals despite being expected to four-peat

2004 - Shaq's team is proclaimed the greatest team of all time, loses to a team that they were supposed to sweep no questions asked in one of the biggest upsets in NBA history.

2006 - Shaq piggybacks his way to a ring with, like always, more supporting cast than hakeem ever had.

I think we can all agree that Hakeem would have had just as many, if not more, rings than shaq if he had the supporting cast shaq had. Hakeem was a better playoff performer and did more for the supporting cast he had than shaq.

Synopsis

There is really no evedence but weak anecdotal evidence suggesting that Shaq is better than hakeem. Hakeem was equal to him in the regular season, though easily arguably more valuable. Hakeem was way better in the playoffs. Both great players.
Last edited by tHe_pEsTiLeNcE on Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:53 am
Totally agree! There have been no great Centers in the last 7 years or so to face Shaq, while Hakeem had Robinson, Ewing and there were other Centers that were better than what is around now, such as Parish and Daugherty.

I even say that David Robinson had a better career than Shaq, even though he was a somewhat choker in the playoffs. Had Hakeem not been around, I reckon the Spurs would have wo championships in the mid 90s.

Shaq is dominant but always the same - Just barge through guys and dunk. Hakeem had skill at its finest and he didn't become so allround skillful until 92-93, when he showcased a proper jumpshot that he didn't have before that.

Shaq in the late 80s, 90s era, would not have beenthought of as most dominant but rather, huge and effective but lacking the rest of the skills of mobility that Hakeem and Robinson had
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:03 am
migya wrote:Totally agree! There have been no great Centers in the last 7 years or so to face Shaq, while Hakeem had Robinson, Ewing and there were other Centers that were better than what is around now, such as Parish and Daugherty.

I even say that David Robinson had a better career than Shaq, even though he was a somewhat choker in the playoffs. Had Hakeem not been around, I reckon the Spurs would have wo championships in the mid 90s.

Shaq is dominant but always the same - Just barge through guys and dunk. Hakeem had skill at its finest and he didn't become so allround skillful until 92-93, when he showcased a proper jumpshot that he didn't have before that.

Shaq in the late 80s, 90s era, would not have beenthought of as most dominant but rather, huge and effective but lacking the rest of the skills of mobility that Hakeem and Robinson had

Lets not get carried away here, shaq had a way better career than Drob in most every way. Shaq is and was a great and dominant player, but I think hakeem was greater and more dominant.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:12 am
tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:
migya wrote:Totally agree! There have been no great Centers in the last 7 years or so to face Shaq, while Hakeem had Robinson, Ewing and there were other Centers that were better than what is around now, such as Parish and Daugherty.

I even say that David Robinson had a better career than Shaq, even though he was a somewhat choker in the playoffs. Had Hakeem not been around, I reckon the Spurs would have wo championships in the mid 90s.

Shaq is dominant but always the same - Just barge through guys and dunk. Hakeem had skill at its finest and he didn't become so allround skillful until 92-93, when he showcased a proper jumpshot that he didn't have before that.

Shaq in the late 80s, 90s era, would not have beenthought of as most dominant but rather, huge and effective but lacking the rest of the skills of mobility that Hakeem and Robinson had

Lets not get carried away here, shaq had a way better career than Drob in most every way. Shaq is and was a great and dominant player, but I think hakeem was greater and more dominant.



Before Duncan arrived, Robinson was marginally behind Hakeem and I think he was a better scorer! Robinson did it all well - Scoring, rebounding, blocks, steals and passing (more assists than Hakeem a couple of seasons in the mid 90s I remember). Shaq is huge and plays like a typical, old school Center, near the basket, overpowering guys. Robinson and Hakeem could do that but could also out pace and outfinesse guys
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:26 am
migya wrote:
tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:
migya wrote:Totally agree! There have been no great Centers in the last 7 years or so to face Shaq, while Hakeem had Robinson, Ewing and there were other Centers that were better than what is around now, such as Parish and Daugherty.

I even say that David Robinson had a better career than Shaq, even though he was a somewhat choker in the playoffs. Had Hakeem not been around, I reckon the Spurs would have wo championships in the mid 90s.

Shaq is dominant but always the same - Just barge through guys and dunk. Hakeem had skill at its finest and he didn't become so allround skillful until 92-93, when he showcased a proper jumpshot that he didn't have before that.

Shaq in the late 80s, 90s era, would not have beenthought of as most dominant but rather, huge and effective but lacking the rest of the skills of mobility that Hakeem and Robinson had

Lets not get carried away here, shaq had a way better career than Drob in most every way. Shaq is and was a great and dominant player, but I think hakeem was greater and more dominant.



Before Duncan arrived, Robinson was marginally behind Hakeem and I think he was a better scorer! Robinson did it all well - Scoring, rebounding, blocks, steals and passing (more assists than Hakeem a couple of seasons in the mid 90s I remember). Shaq is huge and plays like a typical, old school Center, near the basket, overpowering guys. Robinson and Hakeem could do that but could also out pace and outfinesse guys

of course hakeem dominated Drob in what was recognized as one of the biggest one on one playoff dominations ever
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:08 am
tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:
migya wrote:
tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:
migya wrote:Totally agree! There have been no great Centers in the last 7 years or so to face Shaq, while Hakeem had Robinson, Ewing and there were other Centers that were better than what is around now, such as Parish and Daugherty.

I even say that David Robinson had a better career than Shaq, even though he was a somewhat choker in the playoffs. Had Hakeem not been around, I reckon the Spurs would have wo championships in the mid 90s.

Shaq is dominant but always the same - Just barge through guys and dunk. Hakeem had skill at its finest and he didn't become so allround skillful until 92-93, when he showcased a proper jumpshot that he didn't have before that.

Shaq in the late 80s, 90s era, would not have beenthought of as most dominant but rather, huge and effective but lacking the rest of the skills of mobility that Hakeem and Robinson had

Lets not get carried away here, shaq had a way better career than Drob in most every way. Shaq is and was a great and dominant player, but I think hakeem was greater and more dominant.



Before Duncan arrived, Robinson was marginally behind Hakeem and I think he was a better scorer! Robinson did it all well - Scoring, rebounding, blocks, steals and passing (more assists than Hakeem a couple of seasons in the mid 90s I remember). Shaq is huge and plays like a typical, old school Center, near the basket, overpowering guys. Robinson and Hakeem could do that but could also out pace and outfinesse guys

of course hakeem dominated Drob in what was recognized as one of the biggest one on one playoff dominations ever



One series!

Robinson had his way with Hakeem a number of times!
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:20 am
migya wrote:
tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:
migya wrote:
tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:
migya wrote:Totally agree! There have been no great Centers in the last 7 years or so to face Shaq, while Hakeem had Robinson, Ewing and there were other Centers that were better than what is around now, such as Parish and Daugherty.

I even say that David Robinson had a better career than Shaq, even though he was a somewhat choker in the playoffs. Had Hakeem not been around, I reckon the Spurs would have wo championships in the mid 90s.

Shaq is dominant but always the same - Just barge through guys and dunk. Hakeem had skill at its finest and he didn't become so allround skillful until 92-93, when he showcased a proper jumpshot that he didn't have before that.

Shaq in the late 80s, 90s era, would not have beenthought of as most dominant but rather, huge and effective but lacking the rest of the skills of mobility that Hakeem and Robinson had

Lets not get carried away here, shaq had a way better career than Drob in most every way. Shaq is and was a great and dominant player, but I think hakeem was greater and more dominant.



Before Duncan arrived, Robinson was marginally behind Hakeem and I think he was a better scorer! Robinson did it all well - Scoring, rebounding, blocks, steals and passing (more assists than Hakeem a couple of seasons in the mid 90s I remember). Shaq is huge and plays like a typical, old school Center, near the basket, overpowering guys. Robinson and Hakeem could do that but could also out pace and outfinesse guys

of course hakeem dominated Drob in what was recognized as one of the biggest one on one playoff dominations ever



One series!

Robinson had his way with Hakeem a number of times!

errr... Robinson played hakeem in one and only one playoff series and hakeem dominated him. Robinson was 26-27 for his career pre duncan against hakeem
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:04 pm
tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:
migya wrote:
tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:
migya wrote:
tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:
migya wrote:Totally agree! There have been no great Centers in the last 7 years or so to face Shaq, while Hakeem had Robinson, Ewing and there were other Centers that were better than what is around now, such as Parish and Daugherty.

I even say that David Robinson had a better career than Shaq, even though he was a somewhat choker in the playoffs. Had Hakeem not been around, I reckon the Spurs would have wo championships in the mid 90s.

Shaq is dominant but always the same - Just barge through guys and dunk. Hakeem had skill at its finest and he didn't become so allround skillful until 92-93, when he showcased a proper jumpshot that he didn't have before that.

Shaq in the late 80s, 90s era, would not have beenthought of as most dominant but rather, huge and effective but lacking the rest of the skills of mobility that Hakeem and Robinson had

Lets not get carried away here, shaq had a way better career than Drob in most every way. Shaq is and was a great and dominant player, but I think hakeem was greater and more dominant.



Before Duncan arrived, Robinson was marginally behind Hakeem and I think he was a better scorer! Robinson did it all well - Scoring, rebounding, blocks, steals and passing (more assists than Hakeem a couple of seasons in the mid 90s I remember). Shaq is huge and plays like a typical, old school Center, near the basket, overpowering guys. Robinson and Hakeem could do that but could also out pace and outfinesse guys

of course hakeem dominated Drob in what was recognized as one of the biggest one on one playoff dominations ever



One series!

Robinson had his way with Hakeem a number of times!

errr... Robinson played hakeem in one and only one playoff series and hakeem dominated him. Robinson was 26-27 for his career pre duncan against hakeem



I saw many games in the late 80s and early 90s between the Spurs and the Rockets and Robinson outplayed Hakeem a few more times than Hakeem outplayed him! After 1992, Olajuwon outplayed Robinson more but before than it was in favour of Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:01 pm
Easy question: Hakeem.

Just remember the finals between Houston and Orlando. Hakeem schooled Shaq. Then Shaq schooled Hakeem when he got too old to play bball.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:07 pm
TMC wrote:Just remember the finals between Houston and Orlando. Hakeem schooled Shaq. Then Shaq schooled Hakeem when he got too old to play bball.

Hakeem (in his prime) schooled a 2-year veteran. Very impressive. :roll:

I'm not getting involved in this debate, because the posters are seriously swayed in Olajuon's favor, but the Magic-Rockets Finals were about as fair as when AI took on the Lakers by himself. Hakeem had Drexler, Horry, and Cassell, among others. Shaq had Baby Penny and... nobody. Nick Anderson? Dennis Scott? Please...
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:19 pm
#32 wrote:
TMC wrote:Just remember the finals between Houston and Orlando. Hakeem schooled Shaq. Then Shaq schooled Hakeem when he got too old to play bball.

Hakeem (in his prime) schooled a 2-year veteran. Very impressive. :roll:

I'm not getting involved in this debate, because the posters are seriously swayed in Olajuon's favor, but the Magic-Rockets Finals were about as fair as when AI took on the Lakers by himself. Hakeem had Drexler, Horry, and Cassell, among others. Shaq had Baby Penny and... nobody. Nick Anderson? Dennis Scott? Please...



There was a reason why the Magic had the second best record in the nba that season! (Sonics were first) Nick Anderson was one of the best SGs in the East, Dennis Scott was a perfect role player, hitting threes all over the place off of Shaq and Penny double teams, Horace Grant gave them rebounding, defense, toughness and better offense than the Bulls ever saw from him and Anfernee Hardaway was better than Drexler and was in the top 10 players that season! The Rockets barely made it to the playoffs and got by on heart and desire more than talent!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:25 pm
migya wrote:There was a reason why the Magic had the second best record in the nba that season! (Sonics were first)

:-k I count 4th-best, cheif. Sure, they were tied with the Sonics (both were at .695)... but don't forget the Spurs, the Jazz, and the Suns (all above .700 on the season). Here's the proof:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/lea ... _1995.html

Compare rosters if you're still not convinced. Regular season records mean nothing but placement in the playoffs. Miami was a worse regular-season team than Dallas this year. How'd that work out in the playoffs...?

Olajuon and his Hall-of-Fame sidekick (Clyde Drexler - who was still averaging 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals after the trade to Houston), along with a supporting cast of would-be playoff legends (like Robert Horry, Sam Cassell, and Mario Elie) took down a lesser Orlando Magic squad, where the only above-average player (on his career) was Shaquille O'Neal. Name one other Orlando Magic player from the '95 roster whose career will be regarded as "above-average" in the end. The only possible argument is Horace Grant... and even he's just a hair above normal.

And Penny Hardaway??? Better than Clyde??? You better check you numbers again, buddy:

Hardaway: 20 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 7 APG, 1.4 SPG
Drexler: 21 PPG, 7 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.7 SPG


Seeing as rebounding and assists cancel each other out, Drexler was superior in the other two categories.

You also mention Nick Anderson being "one of the best SG's in the East" that league. I'm betting "some of the best shooting guards in the East" don't average a mere 15 points (in 34 minutes) a game, with no other noticable category to contribute in (along with choking on two free throws in the series itself).

Say what you want, but Houston's team was undoubtably superior to Orlando's.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:39 pm
#32 wrote:I'm not getting involved in this debate, because the posters are seriously swayed in Olajuon's favor


The same can be said about you and Shaq. I don't think he improved that much from his Orlando days. He didn't need to, due to the impressive array of capabilities he already had back then. The worst thing was his free throws... and we all know how that ended.

But I admit I'm biased towards Olajuwon...
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:47 pm
And I'm biased towards O'Neal. We've been down this road before; it doesn't change anybody's mind. That's why i said I didn't wanna partake in it (even though, I guess, I've sorta gotten sucked into it).
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:57 pm
#32 wrote:
TMC wrote:Just remember the finals between Houston and Orlando. Hakeem schooled Shaq. Then Shaq schooled Hakeem when he got too old to play bball.

Hakeem (in his prime) schooled a 2-year veteran. Very impressive. :roll:

I'm not getting involved in this debate, because the posters are seriously swayed in Olajuon's favor, but the Magic-Rockets Finals were about as fair as when AI took on the Lakers by himself. Hakeem had Drexler, Horry, and Cassell, among others. Shaq had Baby Penny and... nobody. Nick Anderson? Dennis Scott? Please...

Hakeem and shaq were both at 95% of their statistical prime that season. Hakeem was at an age that shaq sucks at.

Penny had equal numbers to clyde. 2.5 assists is more valuable than 2.5 rebounds. Nick anderson was better than kenny smith. Otis thorpe was equal to horace grant. Dennis Scott was better than cassell (at the time). Etc. If shaq were even close to hakeems level they would have won the series. To say the rockets finals wasn't fair for the rockets is absurd.
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