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"People think it's all power with Shaq, but they're wrong," says 86-year-old Pete Newell, the big-man guru who coached against Wilt and who schooled Shaq at his offseason camp in the early '90s. "Here's what I've seen [O'Neal] do in one game: Bank off the glass. Little lob hook in the paint. Step-back move on the baseline. Quick spin move when he comes out on the other side to shoot. And a neat step-through move when he was doubled or tripled. You go over the history of centers and can you remember anyone, except maybe Hakeem Olajuwon, showing all that? And Hakeem didn't have the power game. I don't like to rate players according to who's best, but none of the great centers had Shaq's moves and counters, and none of them, including Wilt, had his strength."

Newell also takes to task the notion that Shaq is so good mainly because he has Bryant as a teammate. (The same theory is offered about Bryant, of course.) "Do you think Bill Russell didn't have great players around him?" asks Newell, who goes through the litany of Russell's great Boston Celtics teammates such as Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, Tommy Heinsohn. "Wilt played with a lot of great players. [Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Lucious Jackson in Philadelphia, and some guys named West, Baylor and Goodrich on the Lakers.] Kareem had Oscar Robertson in Milwaukee and some fairly good guys later in his career in L.A. [Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Byron Scott, etc.] Great centers usually have great teammates, but it's partly because they make those teammates better."

Well, I'll bow, as I always do, to Newell's expertise. I do know that O'Neal has shown far more basketball acumen throughout these playoffs than he ever has before. Obviously, he has a power game, but in this postseason he's shown three other things, too: He has increased the range on his fallaway bank shot, he has shown (unlike many frontcourtmen) that he is comfortable setting up on either side of the block, and he passes out of a double- (and triple-) team as well as any center in the league.
 

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Beware of Elbows
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Yo

Didn't read the article, but Shaq and Kobe kick major a$$ every day yo. Word up, Mr. X is in the hizouse!!!
 
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