Post-game Reactions

A quick summer Friday post on two tidbits that caught my eye:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Michael Cunningham examines the reasons why Shaq ended up in Boston and not with the Hawks:

I’ve been told that Atlanta wouldn’t budge on giving Shaq a starting nod over Al, who is after all still only 24-years old and an All-Star. Shaq believes he will get the starting nod over Jermaine O’Neal in Boston as Kendrick Perkins rehabs from his knee injury.

Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston.com had this to say in his latest mailbag:

While Jermaine O’Neal already uttered the company line and suggested Perkins is the starter whenever he returns, it’s hard to imagine he won’t be the starter on opening night…Part of the reason Jermaine O’Neal came to Boston was the chance to start at the beginning of the season, and it’s hard to imagine the Celtics taking that away unless his performance requires it.

Hmm. Which is it? Who do you guys think should start? And are you worried this could be an issue?

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Zach Lowe

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  • Perry

    Zach…wanted to apologize because I think I may have misconstrued a previous post of yours. I had thought you asked about a s/t involving Hughes and another Bobcat for Sheed’s contract. I think you meant a trade involving Sheed for any wing???

    I would have not been surprised if he decided to give it another go, but then I read Murphy’s account of the situation and it does appear he is done. Could be they’re having a tough time finding a suitor, which is why he hasn’t announced yet. They have until October 26th. Be that as it may, I don’t see much out there in contract friendly players.

    Perhaps Rudy is still on the burner for a #1 since Isola says the Knicks refused to give up a first rounder. Then the roster including Sheed would be at 15 because Harangody will be signed. This final move of Sheed’s contract could put them over the top or give them immeasurable depth, so I anxiously await.

    Forsberg made a decent case yesterday for Shaq starting over Jermaine, but upon his signing Doc went on the record saying JO would start until Perk comes back, and I am sure once he is healthy enough he will regain the starting role.

  • I love Green

    Ruh Roh…we got a fight on the horizon.

  • I think Jermaine should start. Shaq should embrace a Bill Walton role and not mess with team chemistry. The advantage of him at the Vet Min is he can be cut, Jermaine and his MLE is a little more tricky.

    Perk is still the starter end of the day.

    Bill Walton needs to be talking to Shaq not Roy Hibbert!

  • Celtics3417

    I think having shaq as a starter will make rondo more aggressive. Having someone down there to pick off the stuff he misses will give him more confidence that driving will result in a score for the team. It can also create an easy basket for shaq when the opposing center shifts over and rondo can just dump it to him. JO is better with Nate Rob and big baby. He can pop off of picks like KG and that will allow Big baby to concentrate on using his body to get boards instead of wondering around

  • Wootay

    Simple Alternate depending on MatchUp!! If its a bigger more powerful Center let Shaq get start and If they are the more mobile on the move centers Let J Oneal start untill Perk comes back.. I like J oneal at the 4 more than 5 anyways!!

  • Chris O.

    I think JO should start for about 5 mins and then b pulled for Shaq. After another few minutes rotate KG out for Baby while keeping Pierce, Ray and Rondo in until the end of the 1st quarter (with mayb Ray or Pierce coming out around the 1 min mark). Going into the 2nd quarter I think you run a Shaq, Baby, Ray/Pierce, Quis/Wafer, Nate team. Throw JO and KG back in about 2 mins into the quarter then have them run with some of the 2nd unit.

  • NHBluesMan

    Start Shaq for the first 5 minutes, but give J’O more playing time. Shaq’s defensive flaws could be accounted for with the starters, and J’O lines up better with Big Baby.

    It’s deff a tough situation though… but if J’O knows he wouldn’t start anymore once Perk is back, whats the big deal of being first off the bench from the start of the season?

  • mike

    J.o’neal knows this…he will finish games….unless the celts finish with a small line up…he also knows that shaq will get less time than perk and doc may monitor KG’s minutes…so he’ll get 25-30 just like KG…if that’s good for KG it should be good for JO….
    also, if he’s with the 2nd unit, he’ll be an offensive focal point, instead of option #5….i bet doc sells him on this….

  • Al

    I don’t care who starts and they should care either. This is about winning a championship. I think Doc loves this situation. He likes pushing the right buttons during the playoffs.

  • mike

    the big positive of adding shaq is that boston can go 10 deep….10 deep is crazy…but each of the back ups have proven to be productive NBA players….

    even with all of them eligible for AARP if they know they only have to go for 25 minutes a night, they can go all out all season and not be run down….

  • TheRev72

    Shaq fits better playing next to KG, so Shaq should start the game. But Jermaine should play at the end of games to mask Shaq’s legendary woeful free throw shooting.

    They can split the minutes evenly with Shaq playing the 1st and 3rd quarters and Jermaine playing the 2nd and 4th quarters.

    And I wouldn’t count on Perk returning and being effective next year. He should be signed to a reasonable extension and shelved until the following season, so as to have time to fully recover.

  • i agree with a lot of the posters here. shaq should start, but JO should finish and get more minutes. if shaq can embrace his role as an “enforcer” then he helps the starting unit set the tone for the whole game.

    then a bench that incorporates JO’s beautiful-for-a-big-man jumper, baby’s hustle, nate’s instant offense, and marquis’s high iq on both ends means the other team needs to be working eery minute and there are natural matchup problems on the front line for others.

    biggest concern is when perk comes back – is there enough minutes for all the big men?

  • Sean

    While I certainly see/hope that Shaq will take on a Bill Walton-type role once Perk gets back, I do see him starting for the Celts at the start of the season, only because a Shaq-Garnett/O’Neal-Davis line-up works best..

  • mike

    i agree rev, excepts for perk not playing this year, his game has never been based on quickness and athleticism…he’ll have 15-20 games to round into playing shape and be ready for the playoffs

  • Chris O.

    I think a lot of you are missing the fact Shaq and JO are both really only good for half a quarter stretches without rest. That’s why I’d start JO and then rotate Shaq in for him early. That way he still gets in with KG a little. I want Shaq to be in with KG but don’t want Shaq in with Rondo if that is possible. I would like to see some Shaq, KG, Pierce, Wafer, Nate line ups and some JO, Baby, Quis, Ray, Rondo line ups. Seriously though when Perk comes back and if we could get another decent wing there isn’t any reason the C’s can’t go 12 deep and that’s without even including Avery.

  • mike


    most assuredly there is….they’ll start perk out at 8-12 mins a game and slowly get him up to about 15-25…

    he’ll also be back about the time that oneal, KG, and shaq are ready to have their minutes cut a little or have doc sit them altogether to make sure they are fresh for the post season…

  • Tom

    I think the key is that Shaq has a lot more respect for Jermaine and Perk than Horford

  • Tebucky

    For two guys who both came her expecting to be bench players, arguing over the starting role behind Perk seems petty. Then again, this is the NBA….

  • dj

    As many have already commented, it doesn’t matter who starts. Both will be playing significant roles and minutes for this team, so who starts is not important. I’m sure they both are fine with that. At least I sure hope they are.

  • anonymous


    scal somehow making derrick rose’s highlight film? awesome.

  • James Patrick

    It’s not who starts that worries me. It’s who finishes with 5 minutes to go! lol

  • no shaq can not start he will have 2 cum of the bench thats how i see him be a back up 4 j’o’ neal thats how idd show work out idont want shaq goin into the playoffs hurt that is not a good look at shaq have him be big and the playoffs and let the other o’neal do the work 4 now

  • Chris O.

    Finishing has gotta be JO in close games, you cannot have Shaq and Rondo out there to be fouled…

  • Derek

    I think Shaq starts until Perk comes back then he is the 3rd reserve. He is to big not to use as the advatage at the beginging of the halfs like they talked about in another article. Jermaine would be great with the second unit to boost defense too.

  • I love Green

    Looks like Rudy will be going to Chicago real soon.

  • yoki

    It should be about matchups. Their going against Miami, JO should start since Z is not that much a low post threat. Then sub in for shaq after 6 minutes. If it’s against Orlando, put in Shaq first.

    Either way, this should not be a problem for Doc.

  • James Patrick

    yes, yoki makes the best point. all about match ups. but the celtics are the best at team play. thing about how many egos were there already yet they made it work this long!

  • jonathan

    Haha, enjoy. Just wait until Perkins comes back. If you think Shaq will give up the starting spot gracefully you haven’t been paying attention this last decade. There’s a reason no other team was willing to offer more than the minimum and a back-up role to Shaq.

  • KC

    Shaq will be the starter.

    Jermaine will be the finisher for the obvious reasons: free throws, defense, etc…

    Shaq can create matchup problems for other teams and draw guys into foul trouble, but the key is that he may now be their best defensive rebounder, even at age 38.

    Jermaine will get to start quite a few games when Shaq rests on the second night of back-to-back games.

    My own throwaway opinion is that KG and Jermaine will be their best defensive combo up front, but their offensive similarities and lack of shot creation in the post may hurt them a bit.

    In the end, it may turn out that their usage is be fairly predictable, with Shaq being used like Perk and Jermaine being used like Sheed.

  • Freshberries

    I think Shaq has earned the right to start and I think he benefits from the other starter’s defensive abilities, especially KG who can help inside and is much quicker on pick and rolls etc. Plus, u want Shaq in the game early to get opposing team’s big men into instant foul trouble instead of getting their backup centers into foul trouble. Shaq is always getting fouled and this will be a HUGE help to the Celtics, even if he misses all his free throws. Plus, he will help establish the inside right away, get those extra points on O-Boards to help us out to early leads, and help KG and Rondo and crew get O-Boards by taking an obscene amount of space in the paint and boxing out guys without even trying. Shaq should start, I think JO’s better athleticism works more in stride with the younger and more athletic 2nd team as well

  • Freshberries

    onathan says:
    August 6, 2010 at 3:50 pm
    Haha, enjoy. Just wait until Perkins comes back. If you think Shaq will give up the starting spot gracefully you haven’t been paying attention this last decade. There’s a reason no other team was willing to offer more than the minimum and a back-up role to Shaq.
    The guy is coming into the team knowing that his starter spot is gone the second Perk comes back. He wouldn’t have taken like a 19 million $ paycut if it was gonna be a problem. He knows he will still get his minutes and he knows Perk has been part of a championship team and that Perk getting hurt was the ONLY reason the Celtics didn’t win last year. Its clear who the starting center is, plus it’ll be around the time that Shaq would benefit from some extra rest in the final stretch to the playoffs and there is a good chance he will have AT LEAST a minor injury that needs some rest, if not being out for that time altogether. NOt a problem, Shaq just wants to keep up with Kobe and he has a hell of a shot here, especially if the C’s can move SHeed’s contract for any sort of decent swingman

  • JO should start. Shag needs to be used sparingly and saved for the post season. JO has alot of miles on his legs but he is only 32. 32 isn’t 38. JO had a better season last year minus the playoffs (nod to Perkins D). Shaq played well in the post season and that’s what we need him for. No need to risk extended injury time especially when the games don’t mean as much. Kg plays low mins, Perkins when he comes back will too. JO and The big minimum should get plenty of mins. 15-25 a game is their max anyways. So that’s said if doc can’t handle this (he can) I would be happy to explain this to both oneals! If sheed comes back and I believe he will soon then doc will have to keep the peace.

  • He took a $19M pay cut because nobody wanted him, not because of any sort of honor or willingness to take a secondary role. .

  • CaptBubbles

    Doc should experiment A LOT during the REGULAR season. You really can’t fully predict with 100% certainty what is gonna work the best. There is bound to be better chemistry with certain players.

    Also, different teams present different problems. If Shaq plays better vs Bogut then he should start because Bogut is starting. If small ball with fast cutting & 3 ball barrages is coming to town, & you need more agility & quickness then start JO. If Shaq is rebounding the ball the best, & JO is spending too much time 15′ from the basket then sub Shaq in.

    The games should be dictated by what works & produces wins not by who has delicate feelings & thin skin. There needs to be a spirit of sacrifice, toughness, & sucking it up for the team to win. Winning cures everything.

    I’ve seen our bigs get called for a lot of fouls. It seemed like KG or Perk were having to sit a lot because of early foul trouble. Fouls & injuries will play a role this year giving more minutes than what anyone is expecting.

    I think other teams wanted Shaq & were willing to pay more, BUT they were not serious contenders. Shaq excluded most of the nba himself by declaring he ONLY wanted to play for a real contender. Shaq backed himself into a corner.

    You can really sense the negativity toward shaq here by some. I think it is actual hate. I think some people actually want him to fail just so they can gloat about it & trash him. I don’t like a couple of players on the Cs, BUT I hope they succeed & even have all star seasons just as long as the Cs win. There was no Welcome mat out here for shaq like I’ve seen for so many other players who joined the Cs with Welcome whoever. I hope every Celtic player plays fantastic & if shaq has to sit on the bench for the Cs to win then so be it & let the shaq haters gloat all they want. But until that time comes, I think everyone should follow the example of Danny & Doc & Rajon & Wyc etc. & be optimistic & supportive unless of course Shaq is guilty until proven innocent.

  • mike amentola

    jermaine has to start, and i love shaq. jermaine came here told he would start first half the season.

    shaq said he knew he was going to be a reserve.

    “Shaq believes he will get the starting nod over Jermaine O’Neal in Boston as Kendrick Perkins rehabs from his knee injury.”

    just wondering, where did you hear this? i have heard nothing of that

  • Shooter

    @Zach…are you absolutely positive about that.I think there’s a difference between,”not wanting him” as opposed to “can’t fit him, for obvious reasons, on their roster”.
    I think it’s best for Shaq to start.Who knows, if Doc plays a frontcourt of Shaq,BBD and it works out he could eventually bring Shaq off the bench.
    But in any case, i’m sure Doc and team will work things out.It’s a good position to be in,just quietly.

  • phono

    Start them both. JO at PF, Shaq at C. If the KG of next year is anything like the KG of last year, then he is nothing more than a bench player. The guy was practically non-existent in the Finals. He can be our Lamar Odom. Since like Lamar, you never know what you’re gonna get from him on any given night. Of course I’m kinda kidding around, but until we see which KG shows up next season, you never know…

  • Josh A

    @Zach, Can you give us news about larry hughes

  • celtics freak

    switch all of our centers(or PF’s) so no team can learn what to do with us down low

  • Matt

    From what I understand about getting a guy for the vet’s min, the league pays a large percentage of the salary. With so many years in the NBA, any team would have to pay very little to sign Shaq. But only one team did.

    I don’t have a good feeling about this.

  • JP

    Havent read the other comments, so it might have been said before but I think Shaq should start but J O’Neal should play more minutes, no more than 15-20 for shaq. The starting job should basically be ceremonial to show respect for what Shaq has done in the NBA

  • For the overall chemistry and matching the players skills Shaq should start. He will probably play less minutes and also probably won’t be in the last minutes of the games but most of Shaq’s minutes should be beside KG and the starters.
    If Jermaine is smart he should really like the reserve roll, as his numbers and performance in general should look better against reserves or tired starters. He might play some PF too.

  • the-facts

    Already shaq is a distraction. i didn’t like the signing of shaq because i know he would not except a lesser role. the guy is 39 years old. jermaine was told he was going to start until perk comes back. and they told shaq he would be coming off the bench. and that’s what they should do. if shaq got a problem with that just cut him lose. his not bigger than the team. he has to be a team player. and i just know that shaq can’t do that. he’s too much of a egoist person.

  • Hillcrestwildcat

    Most of what was said above. I do think from a defensive (KG and the starters knowing the system will better be able to cover his flaws) and offensive Jermaine/Baby and Shaq KG looks better than the reverse though I think we’ll see both during the year. Starting makes more sense. Besides its apparent Jermaine will FINISH most games (probably including when Perk returns) and Shaq starting instantly makes him our sixth man and I think he would flourish in that role. Let Shaq have the start it means little in the grand scheme. Though I believe it Doc wants him on the bench he needs to be willing to accept that as well.

  • pmd3311

    Start J.O. U dont want a tired Shaq on the floor early, with another big on the bench in foul trouble. Baby is only an option if the matchup is proper.

  • lakershater13

    It wont matter who starts. They will both get a lot of time. They will both need a lot of time. In the end they will both be thrilled to see perk playing while they both sit on the bench. I just hope having shaq for 2 years will make perk a better offensive player.

  • eeenok

    shaq is too slow to play the current celtic game, and the current game is too effective to change. shaq is perfect as another big body when celtics play a big team, but otherwise he is best used sparingly. i’m surprised shaq would have a problem with resting a lot between bouts because he seems to play better that way. to me it would make sense if they gave shaq a couple of months off to recuperate, subject to keeping a cardio and weight fitness target

  • *** Hmm. Which is it? Who do you guys think should start? And are you worried this could be an issue?
    *** (Zach Lowe/C Forsberg)


    Well this I know-you don’t want Jermaine and Shaq in there at the same time. Thats a given.

    The coming training camp could disclose how Erden is going to make out, in competing with the league 5-men . You could take a : “leave me alone and I want to try this” (if you are Doc Rivers). And, thus, start Erden at the center. Rotate Jermaine in second, and then Shaq (going in as 3rd choice), rotates in for Jermaine .

    Of course you START Kevin (at the 4 spot) ; Rely on Kevin’s defensive wisdom (adding in Assistant Coach Franks’ counsel in this) , as to the effectiveness of all above. The defensive matter in any case, is , in a league game the quick usage by all opponents, of pick and roll offense. Their pick and roll effectiveness will fast highlight Erden, or Shaq for sure, and to a degree Jermaine-as to what we have out there in a “who is the best in defending the pick and roll-I’m talking about WHICH of Erden, Shaq, or Jermaine” .

    Kevin Garnett can quickly give an appraisal on this. And we shouldn’t leave out Rondo’s observation on this, also. Because of course Rondo will be heavily involved on the “spot” where the p & r offense is started.

    This ‘hangup’, in training camp will be perfect for Asst. Franks to get into the picture, Doc will be relying on Franks’ defensive coaching. Its just too bad this question about Jermaine and Shaq, and starting at the 5 spot has to come up. Heretofore its been shown by each of the two, a rather placid, definitely helpful attitude right there as to being the starter. *UBUNTU* , demands that there be none of the “ego-spill-out, spilling out. Kevin and Paul and Ray should definitely step in here, perhaps in advance- and put a “quell” on that matter.

    THUS this has “brought up” this rather silly thought from me, that Erden should start over both of the others. We think we know, that Erden will have a pretty long roe to hoe, breaking in to the demands in a veteran-laced array of nba competition. Grown men, should be able, willing, to savor all this.

    Unfortunately, basketball “is a game for to be played by the kids”–and then,………… its really played, by ‘elderly kids’ “.

    Thoughts on this ? e-mail me


  • Murf13

    You gotta love problems like this! They’re 10 or 12 deep! Starting Shaq or JO doesn’t matter except who they’re playing against. The old timers will all get lots of rest and be ready to go in the playoffs. Just keep em healthy.

  • Jfree781

    One thing that I like about the shaq j.o. Situation is that it should help motivate each of them to play hard to try to get minutes. I think a little healthy competition can’t hurt. It might even motivate perk a little knowing that he has these guys sharing his time when he comes back.

  • Shaq may prefer boston than hawk.

  • Thetruthhurts34

    personally I don’t care who starts as long as they win. Doc will (and should) experiment for a while, but in the end I agree that it will probably come down to matchups. Doc has done a pretty damn good job with egos in the past so I Am hoping Shaq will be able to gel quickly

  • Butch from Philippines

    Shaq should be the starter because he can only play less minutes in a game. J.O. would still have more playing time but start Shaq. Its his role, to scare opponents at first

  • Jeremy

    J.O should start shaq would be the go to guy in the second unit and i doubt his minutes would dwindle from last year, wouldnt have to worry about foul trouble as much or conserving energy and would most likely see increased production. J.O fits with the first unit wont need all the offense focused on him to be effective

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