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Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistical breakdown)

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Post#1 Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistical b
Wed Apr 3, 2013 3:46 pm by colts18

I decided to rewatch the 1995 finals and chart each possession to see to how effective Shaq and Hakeem were on the court. A special shout out to Jordanbulls for providing the video of this series


Total:
Hakeem: 253 touches, 140 doubles (55.3%)
Shaq: 221 touches, 146 doubles (66.1%)

Here are their stats when they were guarded by each other:
Shaq 32-57 (56.1 FG%), 6-8 FT, 67.3 double teamed%, .578 TS%, 17 assists, 1 O-reb allowed to Hakeem
Hakeem: 31-75 (41.3 FG%), 9-13 FT, 60.2 double teamed%, .446 TS%, 8 assists, 3 O-reb allowed to Shaq

Shaq blocked 2 Hakeem shots, Hakeem blocked 0 Shaq shots. Hakeem did make a 3P on Shaq. Hakeem guarded Shaq on 73.3% of the touches he had, while Shaq guarded Hakeem on 69.6% of his touches. Hakeem got a lot more fastbreak touches than Shaq so in the halfcourt, they guarded each other about even.

When they weren't being guarded by each other, Shaq was being guarded by Charles Jones and Hakeem by Horace Grant.

Shaq vs Jones: 7-11 FG (63.6 FG%), 35 doubles in 52 touches (67.3%), 2 assists
Hakeem vs Grant: 13-24 (54.2 FG%), 33 double teams in 58 touches (56.9%), 6 assists

Jump shots:
Hakeem: 27-62 (43.5%)
Shaq: 2-7 (28.6%)

The vast majority of Shaq's shots were close range hooks.

Dunks:
Hakeem: 1 dunk (vs grant)
Shaq: 9 dunks (2 of them were in Hakeem's face)

Fouls drawn on offense:
Shaq: 37 (17 on Hakeem)
Hakeem: 21 (9 on Shaq)

Hakeem did draw 4 Shaq charges.

Shaq was called for 5 travels, Hakeem 2.

Plus/Minus (Houston outscored Orlando by 28 points total):
On court:
Shaq: -12 in 180 minutes
Hakeem: +17 in 179 minutes

Off court:
Shaq: -16 in 16:37 of action (Houston scored 133 points per 48 in the minutes Shaq missed)
Hakeem: +11 in 17:11 of action (134 points per 48 in the minutes he was off the court)

Interestingly enough, in 2 of the games, the Magic outscored the Rockets when Shaq was on the court. The magic were -8 in about 9 minutes of action without Shaq in game (lost by just 2 points). In game 3, they were -4 in the minutes Shaq missed in a game where they lost by 3 points. In game 1, the Rockets outscored the magic by 9 in the minutes Hakeem missed, but they were outscored by a combined 4 points in games 3 and 4 without Hakeem.

Observations:
-Orlando was for some reason really committed to doubling Hakeem in game 1. They were throwing a lot of hard doubles. Hakeem had 5 assists in that game, all of them 3 pointers, 4 came off of doubles (one was a triple team). I'm guessing it was a response to Hakeem's series vs Robinson. For the rest of the series, Orlando didn't double Hakeem as much and they threw softer doubles.

-Hakeem made like 5 or 6 baskets in transition to Shaq's 1 or so. So while Shaq didn't get credit for giving up those buckets since he didn't guard, a few of those times Shaq was slow in transition. Shaq got about 3 or shots

-One of the commentators compared Horry to Scottie Pippen and Walton took the comment seriously. They are vastly different players IMO

-I'm not sure why Penny wasn't more aggressive. Kenny Smith couldn't guard him at all. When Penny did drive to the basket, he made a few shots over Hakeem.

-Drexler was the man in this series. He really wanted to get his first title badly. For some reason, people rarely talk about him despite him getting more WS than Hakeem in that playoff run

-It's fashionable these days to **** on Hakeem's cast in 94, but this cast was much better than that one. The guards outplayed Orlando's guards. Horry played really well. The 3P shooters benefited a lot from the shortened 3P line.

-Contrary to popular belief, handchecking wasn't allowed in 95. The refs called like 2 handchecking fouls in this series

-I'm so thankful the NBA got rid of the illegal defense. The refs called like 5 of them in each game. It destroyed the flow of the game and limited the ways you could double team a player.
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Post#2 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (Statistical b
Wed Apr 3, 2013 3:54 pm by An Unbiased Fan

Very interesting stuff. Thanks for the info.
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Post#3 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (Statistical b
Wed Apr 3, 2013 3:56 pm by NO-KG-AI

Turnover numbers in those situations? This is good stuff.
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Post#4 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (Statistical b
Wed Apr 3, 2013 3:57 pm by JulesWinnfield

Thanks for the work
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Post#5 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (Statistical b
Wed Apr 3, 2013 3:58 pm by JordansBulls

Damn man, did you watch all 4 games that quick and record all of this stuff?
:o
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Post#6 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (Statistical b
Wed Apr 3, 2013 4:00 pm by colts18

NO-KG-AI wrote:Turnover numbers in those situations? This is good stuff.

Hakeem forced 6 turnovers (4 charges, 2 steals) while Shaq forced like 1 turnover. The rest of the turnovers were either travels or bad passes from the post but couldn't be attributed to either Shaq or Hakeem's defense. Most of their turnovers were bad passes.
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Post#7 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (Statistical b
Wed Apr 3, 2013 4:02 pm by colts18

JordansBulls wrote:Damn man, did you watch all 4 games that quick and record all of this stuff?
:o

Yeah. I watched and tracked 1 game every night. It doesn't take too long. About 1:30 or so for each game. I skipped most of the downtime and the fluff interviews/intros.
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Post#8 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (Statistical b
Wed Apr 3, 2013 4:02 pm by JulesWinnfield

I've always felt Shaq got a massively raw deal perception wise from that series. People act like Hakeem did to him what he did to Ewing in 94 or Drob in the WCF in 95. Not remotely the case

Even Shaq himself has made overly humble comments publicly about how that matchup unfolded
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Post#9 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Wed Apr 3, 2013 4:33 pm by ElGee

Can I make a tracking request -- Can you track Opportunities Created instead (or in addition to) double teams?? :)
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Post#10 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Wed Apr 3, 2013 6:56 pm by mysticbb

Great stuff, colts18. I wish more people would have watched the series and payed attention like you did. During our RPOY 1995 discussion I pointed out that Olajuwon outplaying O'Neal is a myth. O'Neal dominated Olajuwon in 1on1 situations, and the main difference between those teams were actually the supporting casts (perimeter shooting, transition). I had O'Neal as the #1 in 1995 ahead of Robinson.
Also, I think you should seperate the hard and soft doubles, because my impression was that the Rockets threw more hard doubles at O'Neal, while the Magic besides from game 1 essentially only used soft doubles on Olajuwon.

Hopefully that opens up the mind of some people here. O'Neal was a beast in 1995 already.
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Post#11 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Wed Apr 3, 2013 7:17 pm by colts18

mysticbb wrote:Great stuff, colts18. I wish more people would have watched the series and payed attention like you did. During our RPOY 1995 discussion I pointed out that Olajuwon outplaying O'Neal is a myth. O'Neal dominated Olajuwon in 1on1 situations, and the main difference between those teams were actually the supporting casts (perimeter shooting, transition). I had O'Neal as the #1 in 1995 ahead of Robinson.
Also, I think you should seperate the hard and soft doubles, because my impression was that the Rockets threw more hard doubles at O'Neal, while the Magic besides from game 1 essentially only used soft doubles on Olajuwon.

Hopefully that opens up the mind of some people here. O'Neal was a beast in 1995 already.

Yeah in the 1 on 1 situations, Shaq did pretty well vs. Hakeem. I counted 9 made buckets from Hakeem that I labeled as no defender (4 fast break, 4 o-reb, 1 from help defense). For Shaq I had 5 made shots labeled as open (1 fast break, 2 O-reb). In 1 on 1 situations, the Magic usually did a soft double on Hakeem. Shaq held his own there. The Rockets almost never let Hakeem guard Shaq 1 on 1 if Shaq had the ball for more than a few seconds. Though in the clutch time, they actually forced Hakeem to go 1 on 1 with Shaq with no help at all because they didn't want to give up any 3's.

In game 1, Hakeem was doubled on 59 out of 79 possessions (74.7%). In the final 3 games, he was doubled in 46.6% of touches (though that number is higher if you take out fast break and any touches where he shot before a double could even come).
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Post#12 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Wed Apr 3, 2013 7:42 pm by DreamShakeFTW

Weird how you left out the only stats that matter:

Olajuwon 4-0 in the games.

Olajuwon outscored Shaq in every game.

Shaq had home court advantage and the Magic were heavy favorites to win the series because Shaq's teammates were better than Olajuwon's.

The fact that Shaq's teammates choked and Olajuwon's teammates stepped up probably says something about their leadership abilities.
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Post#13 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Wed Apr 3, 2013 7:49 pm by ThatsWhatIShved

DreamShakeFTW wrote:Weird how you left out the only stats that matter:

Olajuwon 4-0 in the games.

Olajuwon outscored Shaq in every game.

Shaq had home court advantage and the Magic were heavy favorites to win the series because Shaq's teammates were better than Olajuwon's.

The fact that Shaq's teammates choked and Olajuwon's teammates stepped up probably says something about their leadership abilities.


This. Young Shaq was a huge blackhole. He crippled the development of Penny and Co., and was the main reason the Magic's offense never clicked in the Finals. He held the ball too long and did not set many screens, plus was more worried about his rap and Kazaam career than the Finals.
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Post#14 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Wed Apr 3, 2013 7:52 pm by D.Brasco

It's funny for probably more than a decade before the stats were readily available the belief was that hakeem absolutely destroyed shaq in their match-up and many people i think even today try to use that as some justification to put hakeem over shaq.

I think hakeem's mentioned on a number of occasion and i think in his book how he found shaq's size and strength overwhelming when he first started playing him.
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Post#15 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Wed Apr 3, 2013 8:24 pm by Not Bias

So the media's narrative about Hakeem "dominating" Shaq is a load of bull??
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Post#16 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Wed Apr 3, 2013 8:40 pm by JordansBulls

Just in case, you guys want to watch. Ive uploaded them to youtube. I would suggest downloading them as soon as possible as there is no telling when youtube will take them down.

1995 NBA Finals G1 - Rockets @ Magic



1995 NBA Finals G2 - Rockets @ Magic



1995 NBA Finals G3 - Magic @ Rockets


1995 NBA Finals G4 - Magic @ Rockets
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Post#17 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Thu Apr 4, 2013 2:34 am by Gregoire

Well done! You did some great research about walton vs kareem and shaq vs hakeem. Now if you will do the same thing about Kareem vs Hakeem 86 and Kareem vs Wilt 71 and 72 (playoffs) - it would be great!
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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#18 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Thu Apr 4, 2013 10:19 am by branny

Thanks for that JordansBulls
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Post#19 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Thu Apr 4, 2013 10:36 am by lukekarts

Not Bias wrote:So the media's narrative about Hakeem "dominating" Shaq is a load of bull??


Not specifically. If you look at the overall 'narrative', Hakeem had two fantastic playoff runs... and did score more points in the Finals vs Shaq. Shaq may not have defended him every possession, but without specifically looking at every detail, I'm guessing a combination of stamina, and perhaps foul trouble, limited him from guarding Hakeem 1v1 for 40 mins per game.

I think it would be unfair to overly criticise Shaq for the series though (and the analysis supports that). I think both were fantastic players.
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Post#20 Re: Shaq vs Hakeem 1995 finals (H2H Statistic
Thu Apr 4, 2013 11:18 am by GSP

Ive always maintained that 95 Hakeem was overrated. Theres no argument for him being better than year than he was in 93 or 94.
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