In this series the Lakers faced the Philadelphia 76ers led by MVP Allen Iverson & Defensive Player of The Year Dikembe Mutombo. L.A. had swept through the West going 11-0 and many people wondered if they could become the first playoff team to go undefeated. It turned out The Answer had other plans as he dropped 48 points in a Game 1 win. Shaq had a monster game with 44 points and 20 rebounds but didn’t get enough support from his teammates to keep the streak alive. In Game 2 he decided to score less and do everything possible to prevent an 0-2 deficit as he had a near quadruple-double with 28 points, 20 rebounds, 9 assists and tied a previous Finals record 8 blocks leading his team to victory. As the series moved back east he would continue to dominate by hitting the open man, staying active on the glass and of course scoring on Mt. Mutombo seemingly at will. The Lakers would win the series in 5 games and Shaq was named Finals MVP for the second straight year.
Series Averages: 33ppg, 15.8rpg, 4.8apg, 0.4spg, 3.4bpg (.573% FG, .513% FT)