Re: Is Hakeem outplaying Shaq in the '95 Finals a myth?
Neither actually did guard each other for the entire series as sometime Grant guarded Hakeem and Charles Jones guarded Shaq but I can say that when they did guard each other, Hakeem scored on Shaq just as much as Shaq scored on Hakeem. In game 1, Hakeem had foul troubles for most the game and was not put on Shaq for a large portion to limit him from fouling out but he did make key passes in the end of the third quarter to Houston's shooters for open looks to bring Houston back at what was once a 20 point deficit in the game. In the 4th, he scored like 12-14 points and had the game winning tip. Shaq didn't really show up in crunch time or ot in that game. Hakeem also caused like 3-4 of Shaq's 7 ot's in that game, including like 2 travel charges. Hakeem had the advantage in that game.
In game 2, Hakeem started of by scoring big on Shaq. Cassell, Horry, and Drexler then proceeded to make big plays to finish off the half and the Rockets were blowing out the Magic partly due to Hakeem acting like the sparkplug. Shaq went off in the second half and almost brought it back to single digits but Cassell as too hot and it was too late. Penny and Shaq were the only Magic players that stepped up. I would once again give the advantage to Hakeem due to him and Cassell putting Orlando in a deep hole.
I haven't seen game 3 yet (though I would assume Hakeem was clutch in that game as well) and game 4 went the same as game 2 did, so the general conclusion is that Hakeem outplayed Shaq despite the numbers. Shaq did hold his own in the series though and did not back down from the Dream, unlike the Admiral. Overall the edge goes to Hakeem due to better leadership and clutch play (though no leader in the world could have helped out Nick Anderson in that series). Hakeem also forced a lot of to's out of Shaq in that series as well.