By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Running Out of Diesel Fuel
RUNNING OUT OF DIESEL ‘FUEL’ SLOW DECLINE OF SHAQUILLE O’NEAL
GAZING INTO THE FUTURE
No it certainly isn’t Over
for Shaq at 34 but
Father Time is
The Truth can usually be found in the numbers, those ever present performance stats a ball player can never escape. That with Brutal honesty track a player throughout their Career. They provide valuable information that if made into a Graph follow the same path as Life itself.
The rising trend line, the peak and inexorable Decline.
Now this Discussion may seen misplaced.
as the Diesel led the Heat to
The Heat have just crushed the New Jersey Nets and moved all the way to the Battle for Eastern Supremacy and a possible trip to the Show. The NBA Finals. Shaq could end this season holding high that big Championship Trophy.
Still at 34 Shaq is in Decline
displaying the ravages
of Sports Time
As one writer has described it ” These playoffs unofficially mark the beginning of Shaquille O’Neal’s long farewell. At 34 he is showing unmistakable signs of decline.” Sad sad sad but true. So far in these playoffs Shaq is averaging 19.3 points a game. Not bad but not Great. During the regular season he averaged 20 points a game down from his career average of 26.3. During his career he has averaged 2.53 blocks a game during the playoffs 1.36 per game. Total rebounds career average 11.8, these playoffs 9.2 per game.
O’Neal is still getting the job done
still the Center of the Heat but
Still you can chart Shaq’s rise from his initial NBA season 92-93 as his stats rose and rose to his peak years of 98-99 and the top 99-00 when he averaged almost 30 points a game, and since the steady slow drop off most noticeable in his last 2 Lakers seasons before moving to Miami, when O’Neal’ went from 27.4 points a game in 02-03 to his his next and last season in LA 03-40 averaging 21.5 points a game. Now this last season a slight dip to 20 points.
Stats aside the Nets did not double team O’Neal during their playoff series which could be argued was their undoing except the action on the court and O’Neal’s number would not justify that conclusion.
Another telling sign if the Cavs continue to upset the Pistons to play the Heat in the East Finals expect LeBron James to out ink O’Neal for attention from the media.
And while both these Super Duper Stars were named to the 2005-2006 All-NBA First Team the difference in the votes is revealing. LeBron was the top voter getters of all NBA players, while Shaquille won out for Center over Ben Wallace of Detroit in the closest tally.
Most of all the Heat-Cavs match -up if it takes place will brutally highlight the different presence the youthful James and aging O’Neal project.
Worst of all for
Miami Heat prospects
would be the psychological
Advantage projected by
James over O’Neal
Youth vs. Age
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SHAQ THE AGING WARRIOR