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Lakers-Magic: The Shadow Of Shaq

It's funny how things work. This is the first playoffs since Shaq's rookie year that he hasn't been there. And yet, the two teams that are remaining are two teams that are still struggling to fill the hole he left, a whole as big as well, Shaq himself.

Shaq arrived in the Magic's fourth season of existence and had an immediate impact on the team. When the Magic won the lottery two years in a row, the NBA panicked and changed the way they do things.

He quickly brought them to the Finals, where they took advantage of Jordan's absence in the East, but they couldn't get past the Rockets.

Once Jordan returned, Shaq no longer had domination over the East, so he headed West, and the Magic have suffered ever since.

The Magic's next few seasons were filled with close...

Read Complete Article at Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers
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