Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Blog Entry

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

Posted on: April 12, 2011 8:57 am
Edited on: April 12, 2011 9:00 am
 
The Boston Celtics expect center Shaquille O'Neal to be ready to play once the playoffs start. Posted by Ben Golliver. shaquille-oneal

Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge is drowning in an ocean of despair these days, as the complaining about his trade of center Kendrick Perkins at the deadline has reached record levels. One man can throw Ainge a life preserver: Shaquille O'Neal.

Boston's aging center has played in just 37 games so far this season, averaging 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds, easily career-lows in both categories. But O'Neal is the best hope the Celtics have for injecting some toughness and a paint presence in Perkins' absence. 

The good news for Celtics fans, the Boston Globe reports, is that Ainge expects O'Neal to be ready to go once the playoffs start later this week.
Celtics president Danny Ainge told the Globe this afternoon that Shaquille O'Neal is unlikely to play in Wednesday's season finale against the New York Knicks but is expected to practice Thursday and be ready for Game 1 of the Celtics' first-round series Saturday or Sunday.
O'Neal, who missed 27 games with an Achilles tendon and foot injuries and then played 5 minutes, 36 seconds in his return before straining a right calf muscle, has missed the past games, including Monday's road finale against the Washington Wizards.
"We're planning as of right now of him practicing Thursday or Friday and being ready to play for Game 1 of the playoffs," Ainge said. "I have every confidence that he will be ready and play in the playoffs."
It's all settled: The No. 3 seed Celtics will face the No. 6 seed New York Knicks in the first round. The good news for Boston is that New York doesn't have a capable center either, so even if O'Neal is limited upon his return it shouldn't necessarily be a difference-maker.

Looking down the road at Boston's potential second round opponent, the Miami Heat, their potential Eastern Conference Finals opponent, the Chicago Bulls, or their potential NBA Finals opponent, the Los Angeles Lakers, a player with Shaq's size and presence has significant value, as Boston's other interior options include Nenad Krstic and Jermaine O'Neal. One bright spot: unless the Orlando Magic pull an upset over the Bulls, the Celtics should avoid Dwight Howard.
Comments

Since: Mar 10, 2009
Posted on: April 12, 2011 7:20 pm
 

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

Having a rested Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal will no doubt benefit the Celtics.  Granted, Shaq's shape is questionnable, but if they can get 24 minutes apiece from both O'Neal's per game in the playoffs,
this is by far one of the most delusional posts i have ever seen in my life. and thats saying something, because i post so crazy shit myself


i can tell you from first hand experience, jermaine oneal aint got shit left in his game. Shaq, well its hard to count out the diesel but its a very good point about him being out with injuries as opposed to just sitting a few games.




the real reason that the celtics have a shot at making the finals is simply due to their experience. the C's have had a good season without the two O'Neals, so having them wont really change much IMHO 



Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: April 12, 2011 4:50 pm
 

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

With or without Shaq, the Celts will sweep the lowly NY Knicks ... Stoudemire won't make a difference .. neither pouty Melo as they've both proven to be losers in the NBA for a while now.   After that, bring on whoever .. C's will be ready!



Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 12, 2011 4:25 pm
 

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

It will most likely be the Knicks against the C's.  If Stoudamire is not 100%, Boston will win that round.  If Stoudamire is 100%, it could be very interesting.  I realize the Celts have picked it up in the playoffs the last few years.  In addition to their questions at center, Rondo is a big question mark, based on his level of play the last 25 games.  I really can't see Boston getting by Miami in the 2nd round.  Of course, Miami does have the biggest choker in NBA history, so maybe I'm wrong.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: April 12, 2011 4:21 pm
 

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

having shaq will also help establish the half court style and force the sixers to set up on D rather then playing the transition game

If anything, if Shaq is in the game, I have my team run more, not less as Shaq is not fast getting up and down the court.  Push the ball on offense and you can generate some 5 on 4 matchups without O'Neal clogging up the lane.  On offense for the Celtics, it might slow them down in their half court offense, waiting on Shaq to get down the floor and working the ball in the low post, but its not going to prevent the Sixers from trying to push the ball on offense.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: April 12, 2011 4:17 pm
 

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

Having a rested Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal will no doubt benefit the Celtics.  Granted, Shaq's shape is questionnable, but if they can get 24 minutes apiece from both O'Neal's per game in the playoffs,
There is a big difference between being "rested" and missing games because of injury.  Its not like Shaq has been staying in shape, working out, etc while missing 2 or 3 games -- he has missed 40+ games with injuries.  No way he or Jermaine are in shape and asking either of them to play 24 minutes per game at this point, assuming they get and stay healthy, is asking a lot, maybe too much, but time will tell I guess.



Since: Mar 13, 2007
Posted on: April 12, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

having shaq will also help establish the half court style and force the sixers to set up on D rather then playing the transition game



Since: Jun 14, 2008
Posted on: April 12, 2011 3:29 pm
 

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

I can tell that is sarcasm, Smurph.  But if Shaquille does happen to be healthy, the Celtics are a vastly better team than this disappointing stretch of bad shooting and tired legs and losing every offensive rebounding battle.  If Kristic and Jermaine O'Neal and Big Baby can all come off the bench and each play 7 less minutes, suddenly the team has some depth in the frontcourt.  3 or 4 additional lob-dunks a game will open up the perimeter shooters.  Also, if the Celtics handle the Knicks fairly easily (which is not a guarantee but is possible) that is 2-3 weeks to get Shaquille into adequate shape for Miami.  The first round takes a very long time to complete.

I would put the odds of Shaquille playing (at all) at 95%, the odds of him playing at least 12 minutes a game at 85%, the odds of him staying healthy throughout the rest of the Celtics season at 45%, and since if he is healthy, he will almost definitely be effective, I think there is nearly a 45% chance that the Celtics will be much improved by his contributions.

And I think it is very, very likely that he will retire before next season (especially with a pending lockout).
And I think that, with or without Shaquille, the Celtics may well be overmatched by Chicago.



Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: April 12, 2011 1:59 pm
 

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

For how long this time? A quarter? A half? Heck he might even make a whole game!



Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: April 12, 2011 11:05 am
 

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

No surprise here.  Everyone knew he would be back and if Ainge was not confident in that, he would not have traded Perkins.  Ainge is not a dummy.  Having a rested Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal will no doubt benefit the Celtics.  Granted, Shaq's shape is questionnable, but if they can get 24 minutes apiece from both O'Neal's per game in the playoffs, they will be tough to beat regardless of who they play.  Shaq has some liabilities, but used right and he can be a difference maker even at his age and heavy and a bit out of shape.  Rest is important for an aging team and Rivers has done an excellent job of taking care of the aging stars.  I think Krstic is a better fit than Perkins more so for the Eastern conference.  Most of the teams outside of the Magic do not have a legit center.  Krstic will match up well against the ones that go out on the perimeter.  I think this is the reason he brought them in.  He knew the O'Neals would be available, but needed a mobile center.  I think they have the pieces to win it all, but we will see as the Eastern conference is much improved this year.



Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 12, 2011 10:57 am
 

Celtics expect Shaq to be ready for NBA playoffs

Well that settles it then.  Just give the NBA title to the Celtics.  The only thing they are lacking is a center.  Give them a 350# man who can make it up the court in about 7-8 seconds, can play approximately 7-8 minutes a game, before going to the oxygen tank, or getting injured, has a shooting range of one foot, 50% FT accuracy, and averages about one rebound per game.  What more could you want?


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com