I've been seeing a few people posting that Kobe averaged 9.2 points in the 4th on 62% while Shaq averaged something like 4.5 points on 25% during the 4th quarters of the playoffs.
I really just find this stat hard to believe, is there any documentation anywhere?
Sounds completely false, especially Shaq's shooting percentage. I could imagine his ppg volume dropping somewhat in the 4th if they took him out or didn't go to him in the post as much due to hack-a-Shaq, but him shooting 25% in the 4th over the entire playoffs (is this supposed to be for multiple years?) sounds VERY unlikely.
That was only in the 2002 run and over two series. I made a thread about it a while ago to highlight Kobe's clutch play (especially against Spurs) that year. Shaq was going through some nagging injuries at the time though.
He wasn't doing as much offensively in the 4th quarters in 2002. In the 2001 run, the 4th quarter numbers are kind of insignificant due to all of the blowouts, no idea what their numbers are for that run. But in 2000, Shaq had great 4th quarter numbers. He averaged an efficient 11.5 ppg in the 4th quarters in the 2000 finals, iirc and 9+ ppg on great efficiency in the 4th in the WCF vs Portland.
Sure, Shaq was the leader back then. But the point is, Kobe was a vital and integral #2 option in that equation. Kobe was a great uprising superstar, he was just young back then. Those weren't just mere sidekick rings. Apparantly Kobe gets more hate than praise for his contributions in that 3 peat run. Why is everyone trying to discredit what Kobe has done?
A contributing factor to Shaq's numbers going down in the forth is because he'd get pulled to avoid being sent to the free throw line and then there are the times he wasn't pulled and got sent to the free throw line. As good as he was he was a liability in a close game in the fourth quarter