DeMarcus Cousins currently possesses the NBA’s best combination of overwhelming physicality and pirouetting finesse, but he still can’t hold a candle to the exploits of prime Shaquille O’Neal. The Los Angeles Lakers center was an absolute monster around the turn nfl replica jersey of the century, throwing opponents for loops in every manner imaginable.
How important was O’Neal to the Purple and Gold?
Well, the team was loaded with talent, featuring O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Rick Fox and Robert Horry leading the charge. It went 58-24 during the regular season, then charged through the playoffs, bookending hard-fought victories over the San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings with sweeps of the Portland Trail Blazers (opening round) and New Jersey Nets (NBA Finals).nfl replica jerseys china
And yet, the team could still only muster a meager 1.4 net rating when its bruising big man was pondering new nicknames on the pine. That number skyrocketed to 11.3 when O’Neal played, and his on/off differential (9.9) was rather easily Los Angeles’ replica nfl jerseys wholesale best mark. Bryant, by contrast, saw the team improve by two points per 100 possessions when he wasn’t playing.
Despite operating on the wrong end of 30, Larry Bird shot 52.7 percent from the field, 41.4 percent from three-point territory and 91.6 percent from the charity stripe for the Boston Celtics in 1987-88. And these marks weren’t coming with limited volume, as he took 3.1 attempts per game from beyond the arc and still found time to average six trips to the stripe.
Bird enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the best shooters in NBA history, but this was his coup de grace. He’d never averaged more points (nor did he again), and that career high was established while he spent every game with an unconscious shooting touch. replica nfl jerseys china
This season couldn’t quite stack up with his MVP-winning efforts in 1984, ’85 and ’86, but that was largely due to declining defense as back injuries started to factor into his game. His scoring was still top-notch—especially when you remember that many of the team’s key pieces were starting to show signs of wear and tear, no longer able to draw quite as much defensive attention away from the Indiana State product.
Bird had four other campaigns that didn’t result in trophy ceremonies but replica nfl jersey still deserve historical credit. None can touch this one.