NBA Lockout Classics: 1995 Western Conference Finals, Game 6 - The Dream vs. The Admiral.
Today on twitter I was asking about which move was greater, the Skyhook or the Dream Shake. The Skyhook was unstoppable and helped Kareem win 6 MVPs, 6 rings and finish as the NBA’s all-time scoring leader but the Dream Shake was something else. It was beautiful, it was masterful yet it was hard to master. It was such a great move that many of today’s low-post stars try to incorporate parts of it into their own arsenal while many others seek out Hakeem’s teachings over the off-season, yet no one has been able to master the Dream Shake like Hakeem.
That’s what makes the move so great, it was just beautiful, it wasn’t just hard to stop, it was nearly impossible to master, on either end of the court.
In 1995, the Rockets were fresh off their first title yet struggling throughout the season. They finished with just 47 wins and had to make a blockbuster move to acquire Clyde Drexler just to salvage their season and try and win a second title before Michael and the Bulls could figure things out again.
That same year, the Spurs, with a spunky Dennis Rodman and league MVP David Robinson won 62 games and were the favorites going into the playoffs.
Hakeem felt spited that he didn’t win the MVP that year, a year in which he led the Rockets in points, blocks, steals, rebounds and minutes played. Hakeem was the Rockets and the Rockets would go as far as Hakeem’s 32 year old legs would take them.
Like a perfect storybook, Hakeem and the Rockets caught up with the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals that year and Hakeem would finally get an opportunity for revenge.
The Dream would shake his way to 39 points and 17 rebounds in this game, finishing the series with averages of 35 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.3 steals and 4.2 blocks a game. The Rockets would move on to their second consecutive finals appearance, where Hakeem would school Shaq and the Magic on the way to a sweep. Hakeem averaged 33 points 10.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the 1995 playoffs and was so good, the great Shaquille O’neal would willingly call Hakeem “The Master” for the the rest of his career.
It’s amazing to think about how many phenomenal centers the NBA had in the 1990’s. From Hakeem to Robinson to Alanzo, the talent was breathtaking.