Shaquille O’Neal arguably had one of the best finals performances in NBA history in 2000 when the LA Lakers faced Indiana Pacers.
Shaq was unlike any force the NBA had ever seen. His ability to dominate in the paint was unparalleled. Big Diesel was every rim’s worst nightmare.
The 7-foot center had his best years with the LA Lakers, where he won 3 NBA championships and Finals MVP. The Lakers had a competitive roster, which included Kobe Bryant, Horace Grant, and Robert Horry.
In his 8 seasons with the LA Lakers, Shaq averaged 27.0 PPG, 11.8 RPG, and 2.5 BPG on 57.5% shooting from the field.
In his 4 Finals appearances with the LA Lakers, the 15x NBA All-Star averaged 33.6 PPG, 14.1 RPG, and 2.4 BPG on an incredible 60.2% shooting from the field.
The 2x scoring champion would have a 3-peat with the Lakers from 2000-2002.
The 1999-2000 season was a landmark year for Shaquille O’Neal
The superstar won his 1st, and unfortunately only regular-season MVP. The LA team finished the regular season with a 67-15 record, making it the 2nd best regular season of the franchise.
Big Diesel was crowned the NBA All-Star MVP in 2000 as well, which was followed by an All-NBA first-team and first-team defense selection. Shaq also led the league in scoring that year.
The Lakers had a bumpy ride during the 2000 NBA Playoffs. Though, they got past Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns with ease.
The WCF against the Portland Trail Blazers had Lakers at the brink of elimination. However, the Lakers managed to get past the Blazers winning Game Seven.
The 2000 NBA Finals saw one of the most dominating performances ever by an NBA player. O’ Neal averaged 38.0 PPG, 16.7 RPG, and 2.7 BPG on a remarkable 61.1% shooting from the field.
O’Neal’s dominance was highlighted by leading both teams in scoring, rebounding, and blocks.
Shaquille O’Neal in the 2000 Finals:
43 PTS – 19 REB – 3 BLK – 68% FG
40 PTS – 24 REB – 3 BLK – 61% FG
33 PTS – 13 REB – 2 BLK – 63% FG
36 PTS – 21 REB – 2 BLK – 52% FG
35 PTS – 11 REB – 2 BLK – 63% FG
41 PTS – 12 REB – 4 BLK – 59% FG
Most dominant player ever. pic.twitter.com/RxNqpDqgkk
— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopNBA) July 14, 2021
The 4x NBA champion ranks 4th on the list of most PPG in NBA Finals history, behind the likes of Michael Jordan, Rick Barry, and Elgin Baylor.
Shaq is still regarded as one of the most destructive forces ever to step on the NBA court. In his 19 seasons career, he won an umpteen no of accolades and is regarded as a Top 5 center in the history of the NBA.