Following the trade to Phoenix, O'Neal averaged In his first playoff series, O'Neal averaged Chicago would respond with two dominating performances at home to tie the series, but Miami would respond right back with a victory at home in game 5. It's a shame that the referees buy into that", O'Neal said. Supporters applauded O'Neal's willingness to take what amounted to a pay cut and the Heat's decision to secure O'Neal's services for the long term.
The Heat struggled against the Bulls and although O'Neal put up reasonable numbers, he was not able to dominate the series. If I score 50, 60 points, break the records, and we lose, I'm pissed off. Championship seasons In , prior to the — season, the Lakers hired Phil Jackson as head coach, and the team's fortunes soon changed. I rarely get to play [Yao] one-on-one O'Neal also won the scoring title while finishing second in rebounds and third in blocked shots. Flopping would describe his coaching. In September , O'Neal said: However, Miami showed interest, and eventually the two clubs agreed. Although they made the playoffs , they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs , led by Tim Duncan and David Robinson in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. O'Neal reverted from his Lakers jersey number 34 to number 32, which he had worn while playing for the Magic. Although O'Neal averaged career lows or near-lows in points, rebounds, and blocks, he said in an interview "Stats don't matter. The Lakers made the playoffs, but were eliminated in the second round by the Utah Jazz in five games. Ultimately, both signed, each forgoing larger salaries in favor of a chance to win an NBA championship, which neither had accomplished in his career and which neither would achieve with the Lakers. In the —07 season O'Neal reached 25, career points, becoming the 14th player in NBA history to accomplish that milestone. Big Baby [Glen Davis] breaks my hand and I had to sit out five weeks late in the year. It starts with c and ends with t. The Pistons would win game 5 in Detroit, and Wade would once again get injured, but the Heat held on to win game 6 with O'Neal scoring 28 points with 16 rebounds and 5 blocks to help Miami reach their first ever NBA Finals. However, his high school team did not have a 33 jersey, so O'Neal chose to wear 32 before college. Teamed with newly drafted Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway , the Magic finished with a record of 50—32 and made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. I had a good life. O'Neal became a free agent after the —96 NBA season. In addition, O'Neal was plagued by fouls, and during one stretch fouled out of five consecutive games. I'm actually on a team again. Riley felt doing so would allow O'Neal to be healthier and fresher come playoff time. He's always interested in being a scorer, but he hasn't had nearly enough concentration on defense and rebounding. I'll have a hell of a season if I win the championship and average 20 points a game. Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas , O'Neal led his team to a 68—1 record over two years and helped the team win the state championship during his senior year.
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