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Celtics prepare for Shaq-less playoffs

The Sports Xchange
 
Celtics prepare for Shaq-less playoffs · Notes, Quotes · Roster Report
 

The Celtics are ready to move onward in the postseason without Shaquille O'Neal.

Shaq gave his strained right calf and Achilles' tendon a try on Saturday and was unable to go in Game 1. It's also likely he'll miss Game 2 on Tuesday, and the Celtics are uncertain from there.

The club was 28-17 without Shaq this season. They were 28-9 with him.

"We can't use that as an excuse," Paul Pierce said of the big man's absence. "We've won games without the big fellow in the middle.

"The guys that are going to be out there, that's the guys that matter right now until Shaq can get healthy. We can't use that as a crutch to lean on when things don't go right. We have more than enough in that locker room to win this series."

Glen Davis will get more work in the middle backing up starter Jermaine O'Neal.

"We've been holding it down the whole year," Davis said. "Just because the postseason is here, nothing changes. Hopefully we get him back in time to play, but if not, we're going to have to play without him.

"It's out of sight, out of mind. You can't dwell on it. You have to keep focused on what we need to keep focused on, and that is winning each possession, every loose ball. You can't focus on all the other stuff."

As for the prognosis on Shaq, director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said, "We're just day-to-day, hoping he can come back soon. He may come back in three days feeling better. The longer we wait, the better chance he has of being healthy."

CELTICS 87, KNICKS 85: Ray Allen buried a three-pointer with 11.6 seconds left to deliver the Celts from deficits as large as 12 points. When Carmelo Anthony missed a hurried trey at the other end, the Celts had a 1-0 edge in this best-of-seven first round playoff series. Amare Stoudemire led New York with 28 points, but he was the visitors' only real threat over the final 24 minutes. After scoring 51 points in the opening half, the Knicks produced just 34 points on 32.6 percent shooting thereafter.

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2014-15 Team Leaders
PPGIsaiah Thomas , PG16.4
RPGJared Sullinger , PF7.6
APGEvan Turner , SG5.5
FG%Tyler Zeller , C54.9
FT%Isaiah Thomas , PG86.8
3P%Isaiah Thomas , PG37.3
BLOCKSTyler Zeller , C52
STEALSMarcus Smart , PG99
MPGAvery Bradley , PG31.5
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