There is a lot of NBA news out there today, much of which has little bearing on the Boston Celtics. Now that Rasheed Wallace has retired and Kendrick Perkins is out for the foreseeable future the Celtics should be able to rein themselves in enough that the new technical foul rules will prove to only be a minor nuisance. Carmelo Anthony also may be coming to the Atlantic Division by way of a trade to the New Jersey Nets. This will certainly change the landscape of the rankings a bit but the three-headed monster of ‘Melo, Troy Murphy, and Brook Lopez should not alter the Celtics’ reign- especially with Jordan Farmar distributing the ball.
What is pertinent to the Celtics in all of this is the future of the division should Chris Paul join Anthony in Brooklyn or Amar’e in Manhattan when he becomes a Free Agent. But in the NBA, the Celtics live in the “here” and “now” and the for better or worse Shaquille O’Neal is here, now.
And right now, he is saying all of the “right” things. When pressed by the Boston Herald as to how he feels about his secondary or even tertiary role with the Boston Celtics, Shaquille O’Neal responded with what has to be music to the ears of Celtics’ fans:
“Five years ago I stopped looking at the individual things – scoring, defense, all that type of stuff,” O’Neal said. “Whatever they need me to do, I’m going to do.”
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “Me and Doc have had many conversations. I’m at the point in my career where being all about me is over with. I’ve done it my way for 18 years and I got a hell of a record. I’m here for the guys, I’m here for the city, so whatever Doc and the city of Boston needs me to do that’s what I’m going to do.” (Dan Duggan, Boston Herald)
Those are powerful words from a powerful man but the question still remains: how ling will this good-soldier routine last? Even coach Doc Rivers has been realistic about the all the egos on the Celtics roster. Rivers has been quoted more than once as saying, “everyone says the right thing in August” while alluding to training camp competition.
Given the fact that Shaquille O’Neal is a liability in defending the pick-and-roll, this may cause Shaq to see a drop in floor time. What do you think? As camp starts in just a few short days, how long do you think Shaquille O’Neal will be a team player? Do you see anyone in Celtics camp being a potential problem?
Right now, it’s easy to say he will be good the entire season but I think everyone should still take a wait-and-see approach.