Video games are growing up, and so are they. While the world has spent the past decade or so watching it grow up, video games have been here for over thirty years, and have undergone a transformation from crude arcade games to the more sophisticated experiences we see today.
For the past few years, the NBA has been under fire for a lack of competitiveness. Ratings have been down across the board, and the games haven’t been all that exciting. Sure, the reason for this is the lockout and the fact that teams are still adjusting to the new rule changes, but none of that matters when you’re watching the most important game of the season.
I don’t think I’m the only one who is excited about a return to old school NBA basketball. Since the NBA has moved away from the standard “big three” lineup we have all come to know since the 1980s, the game has lost some of its luster. Look, I’m not a huge sports fan, but after being sent to a sporting goods store on a lark last week, I picked up a basketball and the inspiration was there.. Read more about giannis antetokounmpo and let us know what you think.
Some previous trends were reversed in the NBA Finals of 2021. The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns battled in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2018, while 3-point attempts per game fell for the first time since 2018. The number of long bombs dropped to its lowest level since the 2015 NBA Finals. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the Finals MVP award for his domination in the paint, which helped the Bucks win their first title in 50 years. Shaquille O’Neal, a prominent member of a prior generation, was likewise enthralled by his performance.
During his 19 NBA seasons, O’Neal, who could sometimes dominate around the hoop, was ecstatic to watch an interior presence dominate the NBA Finals. With the continuing growth of the 3-point shooting, that kind of paint domination hasn’t been seen in a long time.
During the Lakers’ championship campaigns, Shaquille O’Neal was an unstoppable force.
Shaquille O’Neal feasted on whomever the Los Angeles Lakers attempted to throw at him during their three-year NBA championship run from 2000 to 2002.
Shaq battered Rik Smits and Dale Davis for 38.0 points and 16.7 rebounds per game on 61.1 percent shooting against the Indiana Pacers in 2000. In 2001, O’Neal struggled mightily against four-time Defensive Player of the Year Dikembe Mutombo, averaging just 33.0 points and 15.8 rebounds per night while shooting a dismal 57.3 percent as the Lakers swept the Philadelphia 76ers in five games.
What O’Neal did to Todd MacCulloch and Jason Collins during the Lakers’ 2002 rout of the New Jersey Nets bordered on cruel and unusual punishment. Shaq averaged 36.3 points per game, 12.3 rebounds per game, and shot 59.5 percent from the field. Keep in mind that O’Neal didn’t play as much versus New Jersey since the Nets only led for around 24 minutes. Not in any of the games. No, the Nets only led for less than 24 minutes in the whole series, including 59 seconds in each of the two games in Los Angeles.
It’s no surprise that Shaq approved of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s performance against the Suns.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has few answers for the Phoenix Suns.
Giannis Antetokounmpo seized full control of the restricted area while guiding the Bucks to the NBA title. Antetokounmpo attempted 10.5 rim shots per game, converting 84.1 percent of them. Shaquille O’Neal shot 81.3 percent on 10.7 shots per game in the restricted area against Indiana in 2000. In wins against Philadelphia and New Jersey, he was better than 70% from there.
Following Milwaukee’s championship, O’Neal went to Instagram to congratulate and thank Antetokounmpo.
“Thank you for resurrecting the olde school bully basketball. Now there is only one Superman, and that is you. Damn (sic) you were in charge. Wow.”
Shaquille O’Neal is a basketball player who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Antetokounmpo averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game over the course of the series. Overall, he had a 61.8 percent success rate. It was also a victory for traditional basketball, as O’Neal pointed out, and Shaq got to take a shot at an old adversary.
Shaquille O’Neal was a product of a different age than Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In the NBA Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo (L) was a dominating inside force, much to Shaquille O’Neal’s pleasure (R). | Getty Images/Mark J. Rebilas-Pool | AFP/JEFF HAYNES/Getty Images
One of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s most persistent flaws is his inability to establish a reliable 3-point shooting. He has a lifetime shooting percentage of 28.7% from beyond the arc, and his 34.7 percent accuracy on 1.5 attempts per game as a rookie was a career best. Giannis was 3-of-15 in the Finals.
Shaquille O’Neal made over one 3-point attempt each season on average. He was 1-of-22 from out there in 19 years. In the playoffs, he never attempted one.
The Pacers and Lakers combined for 34.7 3-point attempts per game in his first Finals. The next year, against the Sixers, the figure dropped to 26.8. The Nets and Lakers each averaged 30.0 points per game.
The Bucks and Suns, on the other hand, combined for 59.8 3-point attempts per game, the lowest total since the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors combined for 58.8 long balls per game in 2015.
This year’s Finals had 11.5 fewer 3-point attempts per game than the 2020 Finals, when the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat combined for 71.3 triple tries. This is the second-most attempts in Finals history, behind only the 71.8 made by the Cavaliers and Warriors in 2017.
It was also the first time since 2018 that the rate of 3-pointers fell year over year. Cleveland and Golden State went from having the most 3-point attempts per game in 2017 to having just 64.5 attempts per game the following June.
Is this to say that every team will start pounding the ball inside every possession and running endless post-ups? It’s unlikely. Giannis Antetokounmpo, on the other hand, demonstrated that he can win without a dependable 3-point shooting. That’s a victory for every generation’s bigs.
NBA.com/stats and Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
RELATED: After brutally injuring a player’s ego, Shaquille O’Neal once made a player want to “quit the NBA”: ‘I felt so insignificant’, says the narrator.
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