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With all the glories and wonderments of the new breed of athletic, versatile young basketball superstar, it seems we fail to remember that just a couple of years ago, the NBA was being ruled by brute, raw, primal force.

Last night, Shaquille O'Neal reminded everyone who the larger-than-average-sized dog still is, scoring 30 points and grabbing 20 rebounds in the Heat's series-clinching victory over the Bulls. O'Neal stayed out of foul trouble and dominanted the game, the way he used to.

We know that Shaq doesn't inspire the sort of grad-student media-meld poetry that LeBron does, or Amare Stoudamire does, but just because he's slowed down the last few years doesn't mean he has gone away. He is still Shaq, after all. It's important tob be reminded; it's probably important for Shaq to be reminded, actually.

As for that late-night Lakers-Suns game ... we tend to agree with this guy. Who knew Tim Thomas was a playoff clutch time guy?

Heat 113, Bulls 96 [Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel]
Burned By Suns [Mutoni's Musings]