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Wilt vs Shaq at their peaks

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Post#1 Wilt vs Shaq at their peaks
Thu Oct 4, 2012 7:36 am by Gregoire

I want to compare 2 of most dominant centers of all-time. Lets break down treir impact in categories
offense:
posting up - advantage Shaq
shooting- Wilt
facing-up -Tie
passing - Wilt
playmaking - Wilt
FT - Tie
transition - Tie
hands (To proness) - Shaq
offensive rebounding - Wilt
defense:
help D - Wilt
pnr D - Tie
post D - Shaq
Transition D - Wilt
d rebounding - Wilt

CLUTCH - Shaq
durability - Wilt
toughness - Shaq
nate33 wrote:

Yeah, when ever I make all time comparisons, I pretty much ignore the pre-3PT-line era. The game was so different then. It's apples and oranges. Those guys may be better or may be worse, we're never really going to know.
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Post#2 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 7:51 am by Jeff-Koon

I'd roll with Shaq.
Better offensive player with noticeably better footwork.

Similar or superior defensive impact and similar rebounding (if looking only at Peak years) even though I'd still give Wilt the edge in rebounding obviously.

I disagree with some of your ranks.
Shaq was a better passer then Wilt.

Peak Wilt was in a different role offensively and was "trying" to pile up assists.

In terms of Peak AST% they are pretty close and over a career Shaq blows Wilt out of the water.
I definitly would call Shaq the better passer with superior court vision.

Many of Wilt's passes seemed pretty simple like handoffs to screened cutters.

I wouldn't call FT% a tie either if we are just looking at Peak.
Shaq was 45% at his Peak and between 45 - 53 - 65% during his 3 best years.
Wilt was 38% at his Peak and stayed at that level consistently (38-40%) in the late 60's.
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Post#3 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 8:04 am by Gregoire

I consider Wilts defensive impact better than shaq. Offensively Shaq was better but no way better passer.
FT basically identical, but in the clutch (in playoff games or 4th quarters) Shaq was slighty better - I breaking it down to "clutch".
nate33 wrote:

Yeah, when ever I make all time comparisons, I pretty much ignore the pre-3PT-line era. The game was so different then. It's apples and oranges. Those guys may be better or may be worse, we're never really going to know.
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Post#4 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 9:22 am by Minge

Here’s an article, “Classic Confrontation: Wilt Versus Shaq” (May 23, 2006)

I wrote several articles for Basketball Digest looking at great rivalries such as Larry Bird-Julius Erving, Walt Frazier-Earl Monroe and Indiana Pacers-Kentucky Colonels.

Last month I wrote a “Classic Confrontation” article about the Dave DeBusschere-Gus Johnson rivalry. My most recent offering in this genre looks at a “Classic Confrontation” that never took place on the court but has fascinated people for years: what would happen if Wilt Chamberlain in his prime played against Shaquille O'Neal in his prime?

Dolph Schayes, Dr. Jack Ramsay, Oscar Robertson, Spencer Haywood and Warren Jabali share their thoughts on this hypothetical clash of the titans:



Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes earned selection to the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players List and played against Wilt Chamberlain for several years before coaching him with the Philadelphia 76ers. Who would he take first in a hypothetical draft—Wilt Chamberlain at his best or Shaquille O’Neal at his best?

Schayes replies, “The Wilt Chamberlain of the latter years is who I would pick, merely because he was an unstoppable inside player—a much better rebounder than Shaq, a better shot blocker than Shaq and I think he was a better team guy with the guys on the team than Shaq. It was the Wilt who was the all-around player, the passing Wilt. They are both haunted by their poor foul shooting. In Shaq’s case—if he and Wilt had to play against each other—one of Wilt’s great records would have been broken and that record is never having fouled out of a game. I think that if Wilt had to play Shaq—the physical Shaq going to the basket and all that and Wilt accepting the challenge of trying to stop him—Wilt would have fouled out of games. Wilt never fouled out against the Celtics because Russell was not the offensive threat that Shaq is. As far as Shaq is concerned, there is a good Shaq and a bad Shaq. There is a Shaq that I think sometimes doesn’t compete 100% as he should—that’s the bad Shaq. The good Shaq that competes 100% would have given Wilt a lot of trouble offensively. Shaq, when he wants to be an offensive weapon, is one of the greatest in the history of the game and would dominate and would force even Wilt into foul trouble. So who’s the better of the two? In my opinion I would say Wilt.”

Schayes adds, “The early Wilt I would not take (over Shaq). He took a lot of fadeaway jump shots, which was a very poor selection. I think he did that because Wilt, being a very proud person, a very egotistical person—nobody becomes great unless they have a big ego—felt that he wasn’t a complete basketball player unless he had more of a game than just dunking and being around the basket. He was constantly criticized for not being a complete player—’All you do is dunk.’ So he said to himself, ‘I’m going to prove that I can shoot as well as anybody.’ That’s why he took those stupid, foolish, idiotic fadeaway jump shots—to prove to somebody, mostly himself, that he could play besides just being a big guy. When he took that shot I would tear my hair out (as his coach) and say, ‘Oh my God,’ because it put him off balance, he couldn’t rebound his own shot and his man was able to take off and get layups because he was off balance.”

Schayes’ fellow Hall of Famer and Top 50 selection Oscar Robertson also prefers Wilt to Shaq: “You have to take Wilt. He once averaged 50 points a game and he averaged 24-plus rebounds per game and he (had seasons in which he) averaged 5-7 assists. As dominant as Shaq is with the players he is playing against, Wilt was just awesome. Shaq is an aggressive player who uses his weight and strength to overpower people. Wilt had power but he also had the finger roll and the bank shot—Wilt had a more complete game in the pivot.”

Dr. Jack Ramsay was the General Manager of Chamberlain’s 1967 Philadelphia 76ers team that set an NBA record for wins in a season and ended Boston’s eight year stranglehold on the NBA title. So he would choose Wilt, right? As Lee Corso would say, not so fast my friend.

Ramsay offers this scouting report: “Wilt was an amazing player. I would say it’s hard to predict how they would fare against each other. Wilt was a little taller, rangier, a great shot blocker—much more of a shot blocker than Shaq.”

Why was Wilt a better shot blocker? Ramsay explains, “His length. Longer than Shaq, long arms. Great timing for the ball. They didn’t keep stats at that time for blocked shots. I was writing a piece about defense in general and I wanted to find out how many shots Chamberlain and Russell blocked—Russell was even better. So I called Boston and they said they didn’t have any clips and they didn’t keep any stats of that. I called Harvey (Pollack) and Harvey said, ‘We don’t have anything for a whole season, but every so often I would have one of our stat guys keep blocks. I know for a fact that there were a couple games when Wilt had 25 blocks.”

Keep in mind that the NBA has only officially recorded blocked shots since 1973-74 and the official NBA record is 17, set by Elmore Smith.

Ramsay notes that Chamberlain was ahead of his time with his emphasis on strength training. Was Chamberlain stronger than Shaq in terms of basketball, not necessarily bench press strength, but in terms of holding his position, backing somebody down, using the strength in a basketball sense?

Ramsay said, “I think probably Shaq (is stronger), because of his body mass. He is so wide and thick—and very quick footed, has great command of his feet. You’ll see every so often, some of his spin moves—they’re lightning quick. I don’t think Wilt had that. Wilt was more methodical, worked the ball and the finger roll, back into the basket. It’s hard to say how it would’ve come out, but it would’ve been a great matchup.”

I asked Ramsay point blank who he would take between ‘young Wilt’ or ‘young Shaq’ if he were building a team around one guy rather than trying to fit him in with the personnel on a given team.

Ramsay says, “Very difficult. I really think that Shaq is more of a team player. Wilt was a stats collector. He would decide before the season in what stats he wanted to lead the league. He led the league in assists one year.”

What about Wilt’s performance for the 1967 76ers? Ramsay says, “That was his best year. That might have been his best year ever, that one season. We had a new coach, Alex Hannum. He put in a game plan where the ball went through Wilt consistently. He only averaged 24 points a game, which is not chopped liver, but here is a guy who averaged 50. He didn’t shoot. He really was patient. He looked for cutters. He made himself a good passer. That was his best season. That year Philly beat Boston four out of five in the Eastern Finals and then beat the Warriors in six games. Wilt was terrific. I thought that if he had played his career like that he’d have been regarded as a different player.”

Ramsay acknowledges that Wilt played for several different teams and coaches, and that this instability surrounding Wilt is part of the reason that Wilt did not play that way for his entire career but still insists, “I think Shaq is more dedicated to the team winning and less concerned about his stats.”

Warren Jabali was an ABA All-Star as Wilt’s NBA career wound down.

He says, “There’s no comparison. Chamberlain is head and shoulders above Shaquille O’Neal. Who I like to compare Shaquille O’Neal with is Darryl Dawkins. What happens with Shaquille O’Neal is he is able to push people out of the way, step on them and dunk the ball. If Darryl Dawkins had been able to do what Shaquille O’Neal is able to do on the low post, Darryl Dawkins would have been unstoppable. Not only could he dunk as hard and forcefully as Shaquille O’Neal can, he had a 15 foot jump shot to go with all of that. He probably fouled out more than anybody in the history of the NBA. They did not allow Darryl Dawkins to play basketball. They controlled his game so much that when he went out on the court it was like he was walking on egg shells. In order for us to even include Shaquille O’Neal in the conversation (about Wilt), you would have to imagine Shaquille O’Neal not being able to just knock people down and dunk the basketball. That means that he would have to have the ability to consistently make a five or ten foot jump shot or hook. If that was what he had to do, then he would not be as dominant as he has been by playing the other way. So he could not compare to Chamberlain because Chamberlain had the strength to play that way but he didn’t do it that way. He had a little fadeaway 10 foot jump shot, finger rolls and all that kind of stuff.”

Spencer Haywood played against Chamberlain but he tosses a curveball when asked who he would take between Wilt and Shaq: “I’d take Kareem.”

Haywood explains, “He could do more. He could score, he had that skyhook. You’ve got to have a dominant weapon that doesn’t interfere with the whole flow of the game. So, with Wilt, in his latter years he changed over and had all that stuff going on (a complete game), but in his earlier years the ball had to go through him. You could play around Kareem and then at the last second drop it in to him and he’d shoot a skyhook. He just had a lot of stuff going on—he ran the floor very well… I think that guys are doing Shaq a disservice by putting him in that category until it’s all over with. Everybody says that it’s Shaq and Wilt, but I don’t see it like that. Shaq’s career is not complete, but he’s no Wilt Chamberlain. Chamberlain changed his game and made adjustments. Shaq doesn’t seem to want to do that. His game is always based on running you over.”

Pressed to select either Wilt or Shaq, Haywood chooses Wilt and adds that Shaq would not be his next choice after Wilt.

Here is the statistical tale of the tape for Wilt versus Shaq:

Wilt, regular season: 30.1 ppg, 22.9 rpg, .540 FG%, .511 FT%, 4.4 apg, Rookie of the Year, 4 MVPs, 7 All-NBA First Team selections. Led the league in scoring seven times, in rebounding 11 times, in field goal percentage nine times; blocked shots not officially recorded during his career.

Shaq, regular season: 26.3 ppg, 11.8 rpg, .580 FG%, .528 FT%, 2.8 apg, Rookie of the Year, 1 MVP, 7 All-NBA First Team selections. Led the league in scoring two times, in field goal percentage nine times; has never led the league in blocked shots.

Wilt, playoffs: 22.5 ppg, 24.5 rpg, .522 FG%, .465 FT%, 4.2 apg, 1 Finals MVP, 2 championships.

Shaq, playoffs: 26.3 ppg, 12.4 rpg, .562 FG%, .512 FT%, 3.0 apg, 3 Finals MVPs, 3 championships.


As I pointed out in a Basketball Digest article a few years ago, the most accurate way to look at Wilt’s scoring is to divide his career in two: after the 1965-66 season (his seventh in a 14 year career), Wilt was averaging 39.6 ppg in the regular season (21,486 points in 543 games) and 32.8 ppg in the playoffs; in the remaining six years of Wilt’s career he averaged 19.8 ppg in the regular season (9933 points in 502 games) and 17.6 ppg in the playoffs (1899 points in 108 games). So, in the first part of Wilt’s career he scored at a very high rate in the regular season and in the playoffs; in the second part of his career he averaged less than 20 ppg but won two championships with two of the most dominant single season squads in NBA history. In general, most players average fewer points in the playoffs than in the regular season because of tougher competition and a slower paced game.

Shooting percentages were lower in Wilt’s era and shot attempts were higher; this explains some of the disparity in their numbers in rebounding and field goal percentage. Wilt and Shaq are tied for the league record by winning nine field goal percentage titles. As for rebounding, while Wilt was probably not literally twice the rebounder that Shaq is, it is telling that Wilt won 11 rebounding titles while playing at the same time as Bill Russell and Shaq has never won even one rebounding title. It should also be noted that the NBA did not select a Finals MVP until 1969, two years after Wilt won his first NBA championship.
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Post#5 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 11:17 am by MacGill

^^^ What a surprise, former players from Wilt's era stating he was head and shoulder's above Shaq. I guess in 20 years when they ask Deke & the Nets front court about Shaq that will put all the exaggerations to rest, huh?

If the best we can do is provide articles from former players who never played both or are obviously bias to their own era then let's just call Wilt the most dominant in his day and Shaq in his. The game was played differently back then as to when Shaq played and there have been articles debunking his 50ppg season average etc.

The difference here to me is we seen Shaq go through all sorts of players so we don't have to imagine what he'd do in that situation. Taller, longer, just as big etc and while some had some marginal success, he always found a way to bulldoze whoever was in front of him and every thing is available on video.

You can't compare any of Wilt's competition to Shaq from a size & strength perspective, not even close, so again it makes it much harder to judge this how he'd actually do against someone who played the game more aggressive and physical then he did.
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Post#6 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 12:57 pm by QuantMisleads

MacGill: you're the biased one here, making statements without any evidence to back any of it up. I could say worse about you, but I won't. Get out of here with your baseless and worthless commentary.
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Post#7 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 1:08 pm by TheXFactor

Wilt

He just had more of a repertoire of moves. He had more range, better rebounder, shot blocker and passer.
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Post#8 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 1:11 pm by MacGill

QuantMisleads wrote:MacGill: you're the biased one here, making statements without any evidence to back any of it up. I could say worse about you, but I won't. Get out of here with your baseless and worthless commentary.


:lol: Hopefully you feel better now getting that out.

What statements from me are you referring to? Clearly, I must have said something greater than the bias shown in the above articles for you to get so bent out of shape. Or maybe you'd like to reach out to each of the interviewee's above with the same passion and give them a piece of your mind as well.

And speaking of worthless commentary, remind me of what you added to this conversation again??

Save your rants for someone who cares and someone who might actually care what you think. But if you like to actually respond to the thread, I'l be right here waiting for the highlight reel you are about to type up.
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Post#9 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 1:13 pm by GetItDone

Shaq easily.

Most dominant player in NBA history and faced far better competition.
ThatsWhatIShved wrote:Disrespectfull thread. I would take 06 Arenas over Lebron. Other than traveling and suspected PED use, what does Lebron have over Gil?
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Post#10 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 1:31 pm by ardee

GetItDone wrote:Shaq easily.

Most dominant player in NBA history and faced far better competition.


That is the most idiotic, bizarre and uninformed comment I have ever seen.

It's quite clear that Wilt's peak was '67, and Shaq's was '00.

The centers Shaq faced in the 2000 Playoff run: Vlade Divac, Luc Longley, a 36 year old Aryvadonis Sabonis, and Rik Smits.

The centers Wilt faced in the 1967 Playoff run: Jerry Lucas, Bill Russell and Nate Thurmond.

Shaq's series against the best defender of the lot (Sabonis): 26-12-4 on 55% TS. 18-9-5 in the closeout game.

Wilt's series against the best defender of the lot (Russell): 22-32-10 on 57% TS. 29-36-13 in the closeout game. 3 triple doubles in the series, 20-20 in every game. Against Bill Russell. Whom some call the greatest player to ever have lived.

Your comments are uninformed and disrespectful.
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Post#11 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 1:38 pm by MacGill

ardee wrote:
GetItDone wrote:Shaq easily.

Most dominant player in NBA history and faced far better competition.


That is the most idiotic, bizarre and uninformed comment I have ever seen.

It's quite clear that Wilt's peak was '67, and Shaq's was '00.

The centers Shaq faced in the 2000 Playoff run: Vlade Divac, Luc Longley, a 36 year old Aryvadonis Sabonis, and Rik Smits.

The centers Wilt faced in the 1967 Playoff run: Jerry Lucas, Bill Russell and Nate Thurmond.

Shaq's series against the best defender of the lot (Sabonis): 26-12-4 on 55% TS. 18-9-5 in the closeout game.

Wilt's series against the best defender of the lot (Russell): 22-32-10 on 57% TS. 29-36-13 in the closeout game. 3 triple doubles in the series, 20-20 in every game. Against Bill Russell. Whom some call the greatest player to ever have lived.

Your comments are uninformed and disrespectful.


I do not have time right now Ardee but I am looking forward to exchanging with you. I agree there is no easily in any statement but you also simply cannot look at 1 on 1 competition faced either, especially how different the game was played. That early west was about as hard defensively as it got and team loaded up on bigs for no other reason then 6 fouls.

Hopefully later on I will get out a full response.
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Post#12 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 1:47 pm by ardee

MacGill wrote:
ardee wrote:
GetItDone wrote:Shaq easily.

Most dominant player in NBA history and faced far better competition.


That is the most idiotic, bizarre and uninformed comment I have ever seen.

It's quite clear that Wilt's peak was '67, and Shaq's was '00.

The centers Shaq faced in the 2000 Playoff run: Vlade Divac, Luc Longley, a 36 year old Aryvadonis Sabonis, and Rik Smits.

The centers Wilt faced in the 1967 Playoff run: Jerry Lucas, Bill Russell and Nate Thurmond.

Shaq's series against the best defender of the lot (Sabonis): 26-12-4 on 55% TS. 18-9-5 in the closeout game.

Wilt's series against the best defender of the lot (Russell): 22-32-10 on 57% TS. 29-36-13 in the closeout game. 3 triple doubles in the series, 20-20 in every game. Against Bill Russell. Whom some call the greatest player to ever have lived.

Your comments are uninformed and disrespectful.


I do not have time right now Ardee but I am looking forward to exchanging with you. I agree there is no easily in any statement but you also simply cannot look at 1 on 1 competition faced either, especially how different the game was played. That early west was about as hard defensively as it got and team loaded up on bigs for no other reason then 6 fouls.

Hopefully later on I will get out a full response.


Yes I know that any decent analysis can't be that shallow, haha. I just got pretty annoyed when I saw GetItDone post another one of his idiotic statements about the earlier times, and I didn't have the time to go into a full-blown rant either.

We didn't have a true '00 Shaq vs. '67 Wilt discussion in the Peaks project, and considering you're the only Shaq guy on the PC board who can put together a cognizable argument, looking forward to it :D
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Post#13 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 2:07 pm by Jeff-Koon

ardee wrote:Your comments are uninformed and disrespectful.

Your statement was just as idiotic and as misinformed.

Shaq was never guarded straight up the way Wilt was frequently in 67.
Wilt wasn't even the main scorer on his own team.
He was 4th or 5th in FGAttempts in the playoffs and 3rd in PPG.

Shaq wasn't guarded by just Sabonis.
He was guarded by Sabonis and Rasheed Wallace who was an amazing defender in his own right with Pippen often coming in from the perimiter to triple team him especially in the last two games where they threw half their team at O'neal trying to slow him.

So while Thurmond/Russell were obviously better defenders then Sheed or Bonis Shaq still faced much better defenses considering how much more heavily he was double and triple teamed.

Not like Thurmond or Russell would have stood any chance slowing Shaq anyway.
Thurmond was quoted saying he didn't think he'd stand a chance at stopping O'neal.

Also Shaq was not guarded by Smits in the Finals he was guarded by Dale Davis who was an All-Star and a very good / physical defender.
He was 6 foot 10 and 285lbs of pure muscle and one of the strongest players in the league.
Obviously the Pacers didn't single coverage Shaq either they were throwing 3-4 defenders at him that entire series.

Wilt was surronded by one of the best supporting casts of All-Time while Shaq had a low level All-Star and some roleplayers which makes any difference in their overall competition level irrelevant even though the West was deep in 00 and the Pacers were a very good team.

You critique his performance against Portland but that really isn't warranted.
Shaq averaged 30 / 14 / 4apg / 2.5bpg on 56% shooting through 5 games.
If not for his entire supporting cast playing like utter garbage in G5 the series would have been over then.

The fact is there is little argument for arguing Wilt over Shaq.
Adjusted for pace (PPG/75 + Pace Difference) the gap in their scoring loads is absolutely enormous and the gap in their APG is quite small 1-3apg or so.

Shaq was also the DPOY in 00 and his 20%+TRB is on par with what Wilt did in 67 so in terms of rebounding Wilt actually has no edge in this particular comparison.
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Post#14 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 2:21 pm by Gregoire

GetItDone wrote:Shaq easily.

Most dominant player in NBA history and faced far better competition.

Most dominant player in history was MJ.
nate33 wrote:

Yeah, when ever I make all time comparisons, I pretty much ignore the pre-3PT-line era. The game was so different then. It's apples and oranges. Those guys may be better or may be worse, we're never really going to know.
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Post#15 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 2:32 pm by An Unbiased Fan

offense:
posting up - advantage Shaq
shooting- Wilt
facing-up - Wilt
passing - Wilt
playmaking - Wilt
FT - Tie
transition - Wilt
hands (To proness) - Tie
offensive rebounding - Wilt
defense:
help D - Wilt
pnr D - Wilt
post D - Wilt
Transition D - Wilt
d rebounding - Wilt

CLUTCH - Shaq
durability - Wilt
toughness - Tie
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Post#16 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Thu Oct 4, 2012 3:48 pm by GetItDone

ardee wrote:
GetItDone wrote:Shaq easily.

Most dominant player in NBA history and faced far better competition.


That is the most idiotic, bizarre and uninformed comment I have ever seen.

It's quite clear that Wilt's peak was '67, and Shaq's was '00.

The centers Shaq faced in the 2000 Playoff run: Vlade Divac, Luc Longley, a 36 year old Aryvadonis Sabonis, and Rik Smits.

The centers Wilt faced in the 1967 Playoff run: Jerry Lucas, Bill Russell and Nate Thurmond.

Shaq's series against the best defender of the lot (Sabonis): 26-12-4 on 55% TS. 18-9-5 in the closeout game.

Wilt's series against the best defender of the lot (Russell): 22-32-10 on 57% TS. 29-36-13 in the closeout game. 3 triple doubles in the series, 20-20 in every game. Against Bill Russell. Whom some call the greatest player to ever have lived.

Your comments are uninformed and disrespectful.

Why do people always state the opposing position player as their basis of argument when arguing competition?

Shaq dealt with far better teams with better defense than Wilt did.
ThatsWhatIShved wrote:Disrespectfull thread. I would take 06 Arenas over Lebron. Other than traveling and suspected PED use, what does Lebron have over Gil?
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Post#17 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Fri Oct 5, 2012 3:24 am by ardee

GetItDone wrote:
ardee wrote:
GetItDone wrote:Shaq easily.

Most dominant player in NBA history and faced far better competition.


That is the most idiotic, bizarre and uninformed comment I have ever seen.

It's quite clear that Wilt's peak was '67, and Shaq's was '00.

The centers Shaq faced in the 2000 Playoff run: Vlade Divac, Luc Longley, a 36 year old Aryvadonis Sabonis, and Rik Smits.

The centers Wilt faced in the 1967 Playoff run: Jerry Lucas, Bill Russell and Nate Thurmond.

Shaq's series against the best defender of the lot (Sabonis): 26-12-4 on 55% TS. 18-9-5 in the closeout game.

Wilt's series against the best defender of the lot (Russell): 22-32-10 on 57% TS. 29-36-13 in the closeout game. 3 triple doubles in the series, 20-20 in every game. Against Bill Russell. Whom some call the greatest player to ever have lived.

Your comments are uninformed and disrespectful.

Why do people always state the opposing position player as their basis of argument when arguing competition?

Shaq dealt with far better teams with better defense than Wilt did.


Ok.

So the Royals were the second best offensive team in the league. Oscar was in his absolute prime, averaging 30-6-11 on 58% TS. John Lucas was in the midst of an 18-19 year, and was a solid and efficient scoring and rebounding role player.

Then they played the 8-time defending champion Celtics. A 7.3 SRS team, with a 92.2 DRtg. FWIW, that's the same level of defense the 2004 Pistons were playing post the Wallace trade. Russell still in his prime, Havlicek had already entered his own, and Sam Jones still going strong. SRS wise they're as good as the 2007 Spurs.

In the Finals, they played the Warriors, who had the MVP runner-up and the best man defender ever in Thurmond, and the league scoring champ in Rick Barry, who just happened to average 41 ppg in the Finals. This was the team coaches were tipping to be a dynasty. There are quotes on that. Had it not been for Barry leaving, that vision would have been realized.

And the teams Shaq faced: an offensively coached Kings team with arguably the worst defensive frontline ever: Stojakovic, Webber and Divac. Then, a Suns team with an aged Longley at the pivot and focussed on a back-court of a young Jason Kidd and an aging Penny Hardaway. They did play a really good Blazers team with major depth, but remember, Sabonis and Pippen were both 35, and Wallace was still very raw. Nothing compared to Bill Russell in his prime. And in the Finals, another offensively oriented team with Dale Davis and Rik Smits to guard Shaq, with Reggie Miller as the number one option, as compared to Barry and Thurmond in their primes.

So, all in all, Wilt faced teams with 6 top 50 players (Russell, Thurmond, Barry, Jones, Oscar, and Hondo), while Shaq faced 2 (a not in his prime Kidd, and a well past his prime Pippen).

So who do you think faced better competition?
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G: Steve Nash(2005-07)
G: Joe Dumars(1989-91)
F: Glen Rice(1996-98)
F: Dirk Nowitzki(2009-11)
C: Robert Parish(1981-83)

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G: Tony Parker(2012-14)
G: Raja Bell(2006-08)
F: Paul Pressey(1985-87)
F: Terry Cummings(1984-86)
C: Alvan Adams(1980-82)
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Post#18 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Fri Oct 5, 2012 3:30 am by ShaqAttack3234

MacGill wrote:^^^ What a surprise, former players from Wilt's era stating he was head and shoulder's above Shaq. I guess in 20 years when they ask Deke & the Nets front court about Shaq that will put all the exaggerations to rest, huh?


Well in fairness, it certainly didn't seem like Ramsey's quote drifted in that direction. And you can find some from Wilt's era who said they'd take Shaq. Bill Sharman who of course coached Wilt on the '72 Lakers called Shaq the greatest center he'd seen in 2000 and said flat out that he'd take Shaq over Wilt.

Also, both George Karl and Bob Weiss said they'd take Shaq over Wilt in 1998.

Karl said. assistant coach] Bob Weiss played against Wilt Chamberlain. He thinks Shaq is better than Wilt and I agree with him.
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ardee wrote:The centers Shaq faced in the 2000 Playoff run: Vlade Divac, Luc Longley, a 36 year old Aryvadonis Sabonis, and Rik Smits.

The centers Wilt faced in the 1967 Playoff run: Jerry Lucas, Bill Russell and Nate Thurmond.

Shaq's series against the best defender of the lot (Sabonis): 26-12-4 on 55% TS. 18-9-5 in the closeout game.

Wilt's series against the best defender of the lot (Russell): 22-32-10 on 57% TS. 29-36-13 in the closeout game. 3 triple doubles in the series, 20-20 in every game. Against Bill Russell. Whom some call the greatest player to ever have lived.

Your comments are uninformed and disrespectful.


This is oversimplified. It wasn't Shaq 1 on 1 vs these centers. Look at the second half of the game 4 EDF that's available. I don't think Wilt was doubled once, he was allowed to put the ball on the floor, take several dribbles ect.

Portland's strategy was to have their best defender(Pippen) guard Ron Harper because he wasn't much of a shooter or scoring threat so Pippen could double Shaq on the catch. Sabonis was effective because he had size that could match Shaq's size, so he could prevent Shaq from getting deep position every time which would have rendered the double teams much less effective. Sheed was also available to be the double teamer at times because he was playing an offensive non-factor in AC Green for parts of the series.

But Sabonis was only a part of Portland's job defending Shaq, so was Pippen and their strategy and team defense in general. That same team defense limited the other stars they faced that postseason with the exception of Terrell Brandon such as Garnett, Malone, Kobe and Stockton.

Without the 2000 Blazers strategy and personnel, he wasn't very effective in limiting Shaq, even when he was younger.

'97 Shaq vs Blazers- 33 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.8 TO, 1.8 bpg, 53.4 FG%, 64.4 FT%
'98 Shaq vs Blazers- 29 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, 4 TO, 2.5 bpg, 65.3 FG%, 42.9 FT%

Shaq being "limited" to 26/12/4/2, 54% is pretty damn good if you ask me, and watching how Portland defended him, it's tough to imagine Shaq producing much more. He was still the most valuable player in the series, averaged over 9 ppg on good efficiency in the 4th quarters and helped his Lakers beat a Blazer team that not only had more talent than them, but matched up very well and didn't have the clear holes in their team that the Lakers did.

All things considered, I'd say Shaq did pretty well in the 2000 WCF.

Another thing to clear up. Shaq's primary defender in the 2000 finals wasn't Rik Smits. Dale Davis guarded Shaq most of the time, and while he was a power forward who didn't have the size to stop Shaq, he was a good defender himself and listed at 6'11", 260, iirc. I've said this for years and re-watched the series a couple of years ago and there was a graphic they showed during one of the games that proved this detailing how much Davis, Perkins and Smits guarded Shaq.

It wasn't about the best defender Shaq faced, it was who matched up with him best. The best players to defend Shaq were guys like Sabonis, Longley, Ostertag, guys who were legit 7' and close to, if not 300 pounds. I've seen defensive players who were much better defenders in general, but smaller and Shaq feasted on them to a much greater extent than the bigger players like the ones I mentioned.

The only defender Wilt faced during the '67 run who I think could have had a chance of containing Shaq(with the right team defense, of course) was Nate Thurmond, who I think may very well have been the greatest individual post defender ever. But Thurmond himself said that he didn't think he could guard guys like Shaq and Yao. I'm not sure if he's being modest, but it does suggest what I've been saying, which is that match ups make the fight. And there's no greater example of that than Shaq.
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Post#19 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Fri Oct 5, 2012 8:11 am by ardee

ShaqAttack3234 wrote:
The only defender Wilt faced during the '67 run who I think could have had a chance of containing Shaq(with the right team defense, of course) was Nate Thurmond
, who I think may very well have been the greatest individual post defender ever. But Thurmond himself said that he didn't think he could guard guys like Shaq and Yao. I'm not sure if he's being modest, but it does suggest what I've been saying, which is that match ups make the fight. And there's no greater example of that than Shaq.


You think Russell couldn't guard Shaq?
SSOL

G: Steve Nash(2005-07)
G: Joe Dumars(1989-91)
F: Glen Rice(1996-98)
F: Dirk Nowitzki(2009-11)
C: Robert Parish(1981-83)

Bench

G: Tony Parker(2012-14)
G: Raja Bell(2006-08)
F: Paul Pressey(1985-87)
F: Terry Cummings(1984-86)
C: Alvan Adams(1980-82)
ardee


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Post#20 Re: Wilt vs Shaq in their peak
Fri Oct 5, 2012 8:17 am by RayBan-Sematra

ardee wrote:You think Russell couldn't guard Shaq?

I don't think Russell would stand a chance.

Hakeem couldn't contain Baby Shaq from dropping 29 / 6apg on 60% against him.

Duncan couldn't slow Shaq at all without double teaming him with Robinson and even then Shaq still usually put up excellent offensive series.

Mutombo stood no chance.

You really think 220lb Russell is gonna even slow Shaq?
Maybe he'll force a couple of steals off post passes and poke the ball away a few times... but anything beyond that I don't see him being very effective in guarding Shaq 1v1.

Shaq was a MUCH better post scorer then Wilt due to him having much better footwork, ball handles/control and a wider variety of moves and counters.
Shaq's playing style was to murder his opponent he wouldn't be taking perimeter shots or let Russell bully him.

Wilt and Shaq weren't really similar at all in terms of offensive ability/style.

It would be two dribbles and a dunk over him or a smooth hook shot.
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