How Big Is the "Big Aristotle''?

Jon doeCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2007

IconFor over a decade, Shaquille O'Neal has been the most dominant player in all of basketball.

He has ruled the middle, controlled and dominated the paint, and flat-out imposed his will on opposing teams.

The question is: How dominant is Shaq today?


Strong Side: 

This year he slimmed down a little, which should be a tremendous asset in pick-and-roll situations by allowing him to finish right under the goal, where he is at his strongest.

He is averaging just under two blocks, which is a sign of good reaction and good elevation—maybe providing a little extra inspiration for Alonzo Mourning, who's a specialist in that category.

His court vision is still good, but Miami lacks the outside shooters to hit open shots. He career average is just under three assists per game—but make no mistake, he is a superb passer.

Overall, Shaq still has the potenial to impact the game every time he suits up, but will need to get more out of his teammates in order to win.


Weak Side: 

Lately, O'Neal has been unable to secure a good post position and allow the passer to find him, which has decrease his number of touches and held down his scoring.

O'Neal has also lacked poise. A slow offensive start will usually frustrate him, and he will take out his frustration by forcing plays on the defensive end, and ultimately wind up in foul trouble.


The big fella is doing a solid job after all the championships and fifteen years of mileage.  Because of O'Neal's reputation, he may see double teams until he retires.

IconHe is not as dominant but he has been in the past, but he can be if the strategy is right—or if he treats every game like he's up against Yao Ming and the Rockets.

His numbers are solid, given that he only plays 28 minutes per game.

Coach Pat Riley needs to use Shaq more as a picker, allowing shooters like Davis and Hardaway to get open; or have Shaq roll under the basket to finish where he is overpowering.