Battle in the Paint I

battle in the middle

This is the first part of the article about the battle that took place in the paint of the NBA courts during the 90s. A very controversial battle, at least, until the 1995 play-offs. The 90s was a decade with many great players, but as we have said in other articles of this blog, many of them were playing the Center position and were the franchise players of their teams. I have always wanted to summarize the battles of the top-5 Centers of the 90s in an article and be able to see, statistically, whom was the best. I believe that when somebody read statistics, must be aware of more than the statistics. I am pointing this out because for example O’Neal and Mourning were rookies in 1993 and at the second half of the 1990s Robinson, Olajuwon and Ewing were over 30. So, their battles may not say the exact true, because except from their age other external factors like the quality of the supporting cast and coaching should be considered. Anyway, this first article summarizes the battle of these five Centers against each other, during their regular season meetings, and the second that will come later, will analyse their battles in the play-offs, the honours of the players (e.g. all-star, MVP) and the overall presence of their teams.

hakeem-olajuwonHakeem Olajuwon VS David Robinson (34 games)spurs13_resize

Olajuwon Stats Robinson
39.4 Minutes 39.7
9.7 Field Goals 7.5
21.8 F.G. Attempts 15.8
44.6% F.G.% 47.6%
0.0 3Points 0.1
0.2 3P. Attempts 0.1
16.7% 3P.% 75.0%
4.6 Free Throws 6.0
5.9 F.T. Attempts 8.4
77.5% F.T.% 71.1%
3.3 Off. Rebounds 3.8
8.6 Def. Rebounds 8.1
11.9 Total Rebounds 11.9
3.2 Assists 3.4
1.9 Steals 2.1
3.6 Blocks 3.4
3.1 Turnovers 3.4
4.2 Fouls 3.6
24.1 Points 21.1

hakeem-olajuwonHakeem Olajuwon VS Patrick Ewing (15 games)s_patrick_vt

Olajuwon Stats Ewing
36.7 Minutes 38.1
10.1 Field Goals 7.9
19.7 F.G. Attempts 17.9
51.2% F.G.% 44.0%
0.0 3Points 0.0
0.0 3P. Attempts 0.0
0.0% 3P.% 0.0%
4.7 Free Throws 5.2
6.3 F.T. Attempts 6.3
75.5% F.T.% 82.1%
3.2 Off. Rebounds 2.0
8.5 Def. Rebounds 8.8
11.7 Total Rebounds 10.8
2.9 Assists 1.9
2.1 Steals 1.0
2.9 Blocks 2.3
3.5 Turnovers 3.3
4.1 Fouls 3.1
24.9 Points 20.9

hakeem-olajuwonHakeem Olajuwon VS Shaquille O’ Neal (14 games)CNBC_Sports_defectors_shaq

Olajuwon Stats O’ Neal
37.8 Minutes 40.1
8.6 Field Goals 9.7
19.1 F.G. Attempts 16.9
45.3% F.G.% 57.4%
0.1 3Points 0.0
0.1 3P. Attempts 0.0
100.0% 3P.% 0.0%
3.9 Free Throws 3.6
5.3 F.T. Attempts 6.9
74.3% F.T.% 51.5%
2.9 Off. Rebounds 4.2
6.9 Def. Rebounds 9.0
9.8 Total Rebounds 13.2
3.7 Assists 3.4
1.6 Steals 1.1
2.9 Blocks 1.4
2.5 Turnovers 3.9
3.9 Fouls 3.6
21.3 Points 23.0

hakeem-olajuwonHakeem Olajuwon VS Alonzo Mourning (12 games)Alonzo_Mourning_hornets

Olajuwon Stats Mourning
37.1 Minutes 35.0
8.0 Field Goals 4.8
16.5 F.G. Attempts 10.2
48.6% F.G.% 47.3%
0.1 3Points 0.0
0.2 3P. Attempts 0.1
50.0% 3P.% 0.0%
3.9 Free Throws 4.1
6.2 F.T. Attempts 5.5
63.2% F.T.% 73.8%
2.1 Off. Rebounds 2.5
8.3 Def. Rebounds 6.9
10.4 Total Rebounds 9.4
3.5 Assists 1.6
1.8 Steals 0.9
2.7 Blocks 1.4
2.1 Turnovers 4.0
3.8 Fouls 3.8
20.0 Points 13.7

spurs13_resizeDavid Robinson VS Patrick Ewing (14 games)s_patrick_vt

Robinson Stats Ewing
38.7 Minutes 38.1
9.4 Field Goals 9.7
18.1 F.G. Attempts 22.4
51.8% F.G.% 43.5%
0.0 3Points 0.0
0.1 3P. Attempts 0.1
0.0% 3P.% 0.0%
6.9 Free Throws 3.2
10.5 F.T. Attempts 4.7
65.3% F.T.% 68.2%
3.4 Off. Rebounds 2.4
6.8 Def. Rebounds 8.9
10.2 Total Rebounds 11.3
3.0 Assists 2.7
1.8 Steals 1.1
3.2 Blocks 3.0
3.6 Turnovers 3.6
3.7 Fouls 4.1
25.6 Points 22.6

spurs13_resizeDavid Robinson VS Shaquille O’Neal (12 games)CNBC_Sports_defectors_shaq

Robinson Stats O’Neal
38.5 Minutes 38.8
8.6 Field Goals 10.3
18.3 F.G. Attempts 19.1
47.0% F.G.% 53.7%
0.0 3Points 0.0
0.3 3P. Attempts 0.0
0.0% 3P.% 0.0%
7.3 Free Throws 5.7
9.5 F.T. Attempts 9.8
77.2% F.T.% 57.6%
3.2 Off. Rebounds 3.4
7.3 Def. Rebounds 9.0
10.5 Total Rebounds 12.4
3.8 Assists 1.8
2.3 Steals 0.8
2.3 Blocks 2.1
2.4 Turnovers 3.8
3.5 Fouls 3.9
24.5 Points 26.2

spurs13_resizeDavid Robinson VS Alonzo Mourning (10 games)Alonzo_Mourning_hornets

Robinson Stats Mourning
35.4 Minutes 35.1
10.5 Field Goals 7.2
19.0 F.G. Attempts 14.2
55.3% F.G.% 50.7%
0.1 3Points 0.1
0.2 3P. Attempts 0.4
50.0% 3P.% 25.0%
8.2 Free Throws 6.2
10.5 F.T. Attempts 9.0
78.1% F.T.% 68.9%
3.0 Off. Rebounds 2.4
7.3 Def. Rebounds 6.0
10.3 Total Rebounds 8.4
2.5 Assists 1.6
1.5 Steals 0.8
2.0 Blocks 3.0
2.4 Turnovers 2.7
2.4 Fouls 3.6
29.3 Points 20.7

s_patrick_vtPatrick Ewing VS Shaquille O’Neal (19 games)CNBC_Sports_defectors_shaq

Ewing Stats O’Neal
39.3 Minutes 39.3
10.9 Field Goals 11.2
24.2 F.G. Attempts 22.7
45.1% F.G.% 54.1%
0.1 3Points 0.0
0.4 3P. Attempts 0.0
25.0% 3P.% 0.0%
4.4 Free Throws 5.2
5.4 F.T. Attempts 10.5
80.6% F.T.% 49.5%
2.5 Off. Rebounds 4.3
9.1 Def. Rebounds 8.0
11.6 Total Rebounds 12.3
2.0 Assists 2.3
1.0 Steals 0.7
2.3 Blocks 3.1
3.3 Turnovers 2.8
4.2 Fouls 4.5
26.3 Points 27.6

s_patrick_vtPatrick Ewing VS Alonzo Mourning (17 games)Alonzo_Mourning_hornets

Ewing Stats Mourning
38.2 Minutes 38.7
10.6 Field Goals 6.9
21.7 F.G. Attempts 15.8
48.8% F.G.% 44.0%
0.1 3Points 0.1
0.1 3P. Attempts 0.4
50.0% 3P.% 16.7%
5.0 Free Throws 7.4
6.5 F.T. Attempts 9.8
76.6% F.T.% 75.4%
3.1 Off. Rebounds 3.4
8.2 Def. Rebounds 7.4
11.3 Total Rebounds 10.8
2.0 Assists 1.2
0.6 Steals 0.6
2.5 Blocks 3.2
2.6 Turnovers 3.5
3.9 Fouls 4.4
26.2 Points 21.4

CNBC_Sports_defectors_shaqShaquille O’Neal VS Alonzo Mourning (12 games)Alonzo_Mourning_hornets

O’Neal Stats Mourning
39.5 Minutes 32.6
12.8 Field Goals 6.9
22.3 F.G. Attempts 15.7
57.5% F.G.% 44.1%
0.0 3Points 0.1
0.2 3P. Attempts 0.3
0.0% 3P.% 25.0%
6.4 Free Throws 7.9
12.9 F.T. Attempts 10.9
49.7% F.T.% 72.5%
5.7 Off. Rebounds 3.2
7.7 Def. Rebounds 6.2
13.3 Total Rebounds 9.4
3.0 Assists 1.2
0.6 Steals 0.7
3.2 Blocks 2.4
2.7 Turnovers 2.9
4.3 Fouls 4.2
32.1 Points 21.8

Each one of them against the others (e.g. Olajuwon vs the rest etc.)

Stats Olajuwon (74 games) Robinson (70 games) Ewing
(65 games)
O’Neal
(57 games)
Mourning (50 games)
Min. 38.2 38.7 38.5 39.5 35.7
F.G. 9.3 8.5 9.9 11.0 6.5
F.G.A. 20.1 17.1 21.7 19.8 14.2
F.G.% 46.5% 49.6% 45.5% 55.5% 45.9%
3P. 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.1
3P.A. 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.3
3P.% 33.3% 33.3% 27.3% 0.0% 20.0%
F.T. 4.4 6.7 4.5 5.2 6.6
F.T.A. 5.9 9.3 5.8 10.0 9.0
F.T.% 74.3% 72.0% 77.6% 51.6% 73.1%
O.R. 3.0 3.5 2.5 4.4 2.9
D.R. 8.2 7.6 8.8 8.4 6.7
T.R. 11.2 11.1 11.3 12.8 9.8
Assists 3.3 3.2 2.1 2.6 1.4
Steals 1.9 2.0 0.9 0.8 0.7
Blocks 3.2 3.0 2.5 2.5 2.6
Turn. 2.9 3.2 3.2 3.3 3.3
Fouls 4.0 3.4 3.8 4.1 4.1
Points 23.1 23.8 24.2 27.1 19.7

The statistical presentation of the battles between the top-5 centers of the 90s does not give a clear answer on who was the best of them. O’Neal outscored all of them during the 90s but he created this small difference in scoring per game(except from Mourning) between him and the rest of them in the last three years of the 90s where Olajuwon, Ewing and Robinson had undergone major injuries and where at the twilight of their careers. They were in front of him during the first half of the 90s when O’Neal was a rookie with a little experience. On the other hand all of them were great players since their first year in the league which means that the rookie excuse is not good enough. The tables only show us that Alonzo Mourning was a great center but was defeated in almost every battle against the top-4 centers of his era. I leave the rest of the conclusions to you and I hope that the second part of this article will make it clearer if my ranking is right.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Opinions - Comparisons - What If

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s