Charles Barkley broke down the obvious when it comes to trying to stop Shaquille O’Neal; says you need to be more physical.
Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal didn’t have all too many iconic duel against one another during their playing days but did have a solid 8-year window of where they would meet each other in the regular season each year.
Perhaps their most memorable match-up from a pure entertainment standpoint would have to be their on-court scuffle in 1999 when they were on the Rockets and Lakers. Their most meaningful meeting on NBA hardwood would have to be the 1999 WCSF between H-Town and LaLa Land which saw the former advance to the West Finals.
In the 19 times that Charles Barkley faced off against Shaq, he won merely 8 times and averaged 22.7 points to O’Neal’s 25.8. Chuck did however dominate the boards in these bouts, out-rebounding him in 12 out of the 19 games. Safe to say that the ‘Round Mound of Rebound’ loved up to the moniker against the ‘Big Aristotle’.
Charles Barkley on how to stop Shaquille O’Neal.
With Shaq having taken his talents to the Western Conference, Charles Barkley was fated to see a whole lot more of the eventual 4x champion. When asked about what he was planning to do to try to slow down O’Neal, Chuck said:
“Imma guard him a lot more, probably. The thing I try to do, I just try to push him. You have to be physical against Shaq. You see Antoine Carr has had some success with him; the thing is you just have to be physical with him.”
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This is easier said than done as the 3x Finals MVP has almost always proven himself to be the superior physical presence down-low. When it comes to individual defense, Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon are perhaps the two best defenders to have defended Shaq fairly well. Chuck’s exactly known as a defensive savant either way.