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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1) Stop the ball coming into the post. This is usually the Lakers first option. Make them go to plan B, which is the outside shot, or the entry pass to open cutters. Get your centre, to play in front of Shaq, denying him the easy pass into the post, where he will turn around and dunk the ball home. By playing in front of him, you are effectively denying him the ball, and easy possession. Watch out for the lob pass though. You can only use this defensive play with your biggest centre. You cannot play an undersized centre on him.

2)Make him work on defense, get him out of the post. He is not a great rebounder, but he uses his strength more, to rebound. Set high picks with your centre and move him out of the low blocks. He is not comfortable defending the perimeter. You need a jump shooting big man to play this role. Someone that Shaq needs to guard, who can hit the outside jumper. Guys like Lafrentz, Nowitzki, Divac, etc could in theory help here. Make Shaq chase you and force him to come out and guard you. This will wear him out and help to reduce his offensive impact. Remember, he is getting on in age.When you draw him out of the post, the next best Laker rebounder in the blocks is Robert Horry,or Walker and here you can back your power forward to get the offensive rebound against these guys and start again.

3) Foul him denying him easy buckets. You need to play a rotation of big men on him, who can give up some fouls. He is only roughly a 55% free throw shooter, with a bad technique. Giving up one point is better than two points. He is never a certainty to make a free throw.When the game is close at the end this is one option you can use, Hack Shaq.

4) Pressure the ballhandlers. This is not as easy as it sounds, as the triangle involves a lot of set passing around the perimeter. All the Laker player are good ballhandlers. So trying to stop Fisher is not the main target, as he is not really the prime ballhandler. I would maybe consider playing a big backcourt, on Kobe and Fisher, playing them tight and close. Use your players size and athleticism to deny the space that they can operate in, getting a hand up in their face at all times.Close their vision by getting your hands in the air, denying the easy pass, into Shaq.

5) If you are going to double Shaq, use your power forward. Leaving Horry or Walker open, to hit the shot. Horry only shot about 38% in the regular season. I know that he has hit some clutch shots, but I like the odds of him shooting 38% from the field. Walker is not a set offensive player, so I would like him to be the open man, instead of Kobe, Fisher, or Fox.When doubling Shaq, ensure that he cannot get a clear pass out of the double team.

6) On offense go at him hard. Get him into foul trouble. Get your guards to drive hard at him, and your centre to try and score on him. This is harder than it sounds, but if Shaq is in foul trouble, and has to sit out, you can go to work on his backup, Walker. Look to cash in when Shaq is out of the game. Look to score on Walker when he is playing centre. He is only 6"9, so it would be fairly easy for your centre to shoot over him, or drive around him and dunk. Post up hard on Shaq's backups and exploit them here.You need a really determined player to take it hard at Shaq and lay it up hard at his body, to get him into foul trouble. But in order to beat the Lakers you need to put all the fear aside and just go for it.

This is not as easy as it sounds, but these are some theories that I think teams can use to try and nullify Shaq. It has not worked in the past, but what else can you do to stop him????
 

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Good Post

Here is what I think about the different options.

1. Good idea-but it just doesn't work very often. This is why Shaq's size is so valuable. It is so hard to deny him the ball because he can power you down and get good position. Also this releases Kobe to do what he wants-so if you do deny Shaq the ball-Kobe can score on you.

2. OK Idea-it is tried a lot-but it doesn't work because the Centers in this league aren't real great outside shooters, and they can't score all their teams points, eventually they cool down.

3. Bad Idea-it doesn't work and it never will. Shaq makes them when they count the most

4. It doesn't happen very often-but it could work if Fisher or Rush brought the ball up-but with Kobe bringing it up, it won't work well.

5. Good idea-but Walker and Horry combined can score enough to win it for us.

6. Best option-Shaq is a good shot blocker, but not a great man-to-man defender, and he is prone to foul trouble. So if you have a big man who can go at him-you are in good shape.
 

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Originally posted by <b>kingofkings</b>!

6) On offense go at him hard. Get him into foul trouble. Get your guards to drive hard at him, and your centre to try and score on him. This is harder than it sounds, but if Shaq is in foul trouble, and has to sit out, you can go to work on his backup, Walker. Look to cash in when Shaq is out of the game. Look to score on Walker when he is playing centre. He is only 6"9, so it would be fairly easy for your centre to shoot over him, or drive around him and dunk. Post up hard on Shaq's backups and exploit them here.You need a really determined player to take it hard at Shaq and lay it up hard at his body, to get him into foul trouble. But in order to beat the Lakers you need to put all the fear aside and just go for it.

This is not as easy as it sounds, but these are some theories that I think teams can use to try and nullify Shaq. It has not worked in the past, but what else can you do to stop him????
I totally agree with Wilt, the number 6 option is the best. And is the one that works almost every time.

kingofkings, your post is really great, but I think that is what Sacramento did last season, they made every single idea that you wrote here. And they worked very well, since Kings offered a very hard opponent for the Lakers. The ideas worked but they didn't stop Shaq. In fact, who can stop him???
 

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A good post of Deffensive options on how to slow down the Diesel.
I've seen players and coaches work on soo many ways in trying to slow the big fella down and none has worked succesfully. The Lakers have been known to make adjustments around Shaq and if any of these plays are working, Shaq will simply make his other teammates highly effective.

The Diesel has improved in his game in many ways. He's become a great passing center in reading deffenses, to finding the cutters and opening up the perimeter game. He know's a lot of Centers has adjusted to his style of play in the post and what makes him even better now, is his ability to identify and pass. No one can stop him and if their are ways to slow him down, he can beat you in other ways, even if it's flopping :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree...

Overall, I would just try to limit the amount of touches that he is going to get. After all, it is better he hits 30 on you than 40. So I would look limit the amount of possession that Shaq will get.

If I was the Kings, for example, I would double Shaq, with both Webber and Divac. I would gamble and leave Horry open. Like I said, in the regular season, he only shot 38%, so I would take this risk and force Horry, if open, to hit the jump shot. I would look at crowding the space that Shaq likes to work and operate in. So I would try and crowd up the key with both Divac and Webber. Divac behind Shaq and Webber right beside him. This will reduce the area of space, in the key that Shaq loves to work in and maybe he will be forced to give up the ball.

The Lakers are smart in the fact that they love to clear a side of the court and have Shaq isolated on his man, with lots of space for him to go one on one, with his weaker defender. So by crowding his area, with the double team, in the key, he just might not be as effective. But once again, you have to be prepared to give up some fouls in the process!!

Other than that, you cannot really do anything, besides what I outlined in my first post.
 

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Re: Good Post

Originally posted by <b>Wilt_The_Stilt</b>!
Here is what I think about the different options.
3. Bad Idea-it doesn't work and it never will. Shaq makes them when they count the most
I disagree. I really think the hack a shaq method pretty useful. Ecspecially if you can get under his skin and make him angry and do something stupid. Dennis Rodman would have been great at that. Maybe Brad Miller today since Shaq apparently hates him.
 

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#6 is the hardest out of all of them IMO. How often do you see guards scoring on Shaq? What center is capable of scoring on him? He doesn't go for blocks that aren't there and is VERY good at staying on his feet. The man's defense is almost as good as his offense.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is making him run the court. In his earlier days he could run with almost any center in the league. Now that you have these skinny athletic 7 foot freaks and a older Shaq it's worth the effort.
 

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Great point Jemel , and I think its the most effective weapon, David Robinson and Hakeem used this early in his career and it worked Shaq would tire and commit silly fouls trying to stop the ball,

As for number 6 I think a slight variation is exactly why the Kings had success have Shaq defend the pick and Roll if you have a good jump shooter ala Bibby or Nash you can get Shaq on the move because he doesn't like to move around much he won't rotate back leaving him on the guard either drive by him quickly or pull up before he comes out.

As for the fronting manuever ,you can't do it because your center has to still be able to cover the middle, if not then Kobe slices down your backside and kills your weakside defense, playing behind Shaq still puts your center in a help position on Kobe which is vital. But you could maybe do it in short streches confusing the Lakers,

Doubling Shaq with your Pf is a great Idea but don't do it in the 4th quarter against the Blazers in 2000 they had success doing this but in the 4th Horry will kill you so you had better switch your strategy, Webber doubles back often and Phil encouraged Horry to shoot Horry's a smart player he won't just jack up three he'll penetrate and get layups.

Pressuring the entry pass this strategy really works as evidenced by the 2001 finals against Philly they were able to get the Lakers out of their offense and push it further out on the floor but they kept this strategy on too long the Lakers figured it out and countered which eventually broke it down, if the Kings used this strategy they'd be more effective.

Fouling Shaq can work in short strecthes ,always foul him when your team is making a run don't let him end it with a dunk and get the Lakers going, don't foul him too much early in games because if he gets in a rhythm he'll make the free throws, save it for early in the 4th quarter.


And lastly this is the problem for teams playing the Lakers you have to commit to too many strategies and in the end if all seems to work Kobe can still break your defense down and create shots for himself and others, If Shaq like he did in games 6 and 7 against the Kings gets really aggressive and doesn't worry about fouling you're dead because at best the ref may call 2-3 offensive fouls but will let more go because Shaq sets an aggressive tone early, early in the series against the Kings he was too preoccupied with fouling that he didn't establish the agressiveness when he does though he's like a bulldozer and with his athleticism he kills your team with dunks while your team shoots jumpers to counter eventually the precentages catches up with you. Jumpshots vs Dunks ,jumpshots vs jumphooks, gonna get you in the course of 48 minutes. you just can't get enough easy baskets to limit the Lakers and they'll eventually hit a few threes to put you down.
 
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