Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Shaq vs Kobe IV: Wrestlemania Take a Step Back (Part I)

After weeks of media hyping the battle of basketball titans, we were finally graced with the giant showdown. Except, there was no showdown, and there never will be a showdown. The media is trying to ride this train as long as they can and try to invent a story by it, but Shaq and Kobe will never again play a meaningful game together.

What made Shaq unguardable wasn't just his size. He was fairly nimble and got to his spots quickly and made sharp moves when the basketball when he received the pass. Now, a few years and a half million Whoppers later, He has more size, but a lot less quickness. Shaq now is old, fat, and slow. He is late on defensive rotations, He is slow to go for rebounds. He doesn't bother to move his feet on defense opting for reaching and subsequent foul trouble. Strangely, his determination to get in foul trouble by playing lazy defense opens the door for Mourning, allowing the Heat to become a better team. Alonzo moves without the ball on both ends of the court and hustles (yes that is still a word Shaq). With Zo, the Heat play better defense and more fluid offense. Whenever Shaq gets the ball, everyone has to prepare for a rocket of a rebound or lose some teeth. Not since the days of Chris Dudley has there been so many shots from within 5 feet that missed rim. Shaq offensive game was based on athletic ability and size. Thanks to his eating and work habits, he has plenty of size, but nothing resembling athletic ability. He is an old player on a rapid freefall to retirement.

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