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20-25 Minutes for Shaq?


It’s only the second day of training camp and already we have a Glen Davis v. Doc Rivers faux-controversy (we’ll get to that later today) and now this:

“Shaquille O’Neal said he would have no trouble adjusting to his role with his new team, saying he expected to play 20-25 minutes a game.” (AP via ESPN.com)

I have  a hard time believing Shaquille O’Neal is going to be playing 20-25 minutes a night.  Last season, he only played in 53 games and averaged 23.4 minutes as a starter.  Shaq is also not likely to be the first guy off the bench, especially when Kendrick Perkins returns from injury.  If the Celtics follow a similar model to last year’s rotation, they will opt for a stretch four off the bench a la Rasheed Wallace.  This will likely end up being Jermaine O’Neal or Glen Davis.

To put Shaq’s prediction in perspective, last season Rasheed Wallace averaged 22.5 minutes a game, Glen Davis averaged 17 minutes a game, and Jermaine O’Neal averaged 28.4 minutes a game.  That’s a lot of minutes for Doc Rivers to manage and  when it is all said and done, Shaq will average around 18 minutes a game (all numbers provided by Basketball-Reference.com).

It may seem like a small distinction but with a locker room with so many egos needing to be managed, it’s not something to take lightly.  Luckily, while I believe Shaq will play less than he wants,  he’ll also be a valuable contributor against the league’s larger bodies.

What do you guys think?  How many minutes do you see Shaq playing?  Do you see minutes as being a point of contention throughout the season?

  • LJP

    With Boston paying Shaq less than 7% of what he was paid in each of the last 2 years, it’s a good bet he’ll average far less than 20-25mpg.

  • Kevin

    Well I can see 20-25 minutes per game when KP is out because the 2 Oneals will share the #5 with JO maybe taking over for KG some in the #4 with Big Baby playing the 4 and maybe even the 3 sometimes.

  • http://transfersaqueneutral.blogspot.com transfersaqueneutral

    I think Glen Davis will play more minutes and Shaq between 15-20. We will see.
    (a blog about transfers)

  • CRizik

    With Perkins out, Shaq will play between 18-23 minutes…When Perkins returns, Shaq will play 15-18 minutes, but many of those minutes will be along Jermaine on the court, while Perkins and Garnett rest.

  • NHBluesMan

    it all depends on the team we’re facing. Teams like the Lakers and Orlando, Shaq will get more minutes, and once Perk is healthy i can see Doc using them all equally so that they’re fresh and that way we have more bodies to throw at them and draw fouls.

    However, against teams like Atlanta that like to run, i think Shaq would play less… but then again no one but Doc knows what he plans to do

  • I love Green

    15 when Perk is back.

  • K.C.

    20-22 minutes
    12.5 points
    7.5 rebounds

  • J

    About 20 minutes sounds right when Perkins is out but I expect Doc to increase and decrease his minutes for certain opponents. Lets not forget that IF the starting unit has done well and we have a huge lead, Shaq being on the second unit will easily get more time…OR if the starting uni has nothing falling for them while the backups have it going, then Shaq will also get more minutes then. Performance dictates minutes. If Shaq can somehow dominate during his minutes, look for Doc to give him more.

  • James Patrick

    It’s not hard to see that it’ll all come down to match ups. if they need him to play more minutes because they’re banging with bigger bodies, then he’ll do that. if they’re playing a faster team, then his minutes will be down. I don’t think this is rocket science.

  • Rangatiratanga

    20-25…..i don’t think so.18-20 more like it.Here’s how i see it:

    KG – 30 mpg
    BBD -18 mpg
    JO – 28 mpg
    Shaq – 20 mpg,less some nights based on matchups.

  • Ersatz

    As long as Perk is out, which, let’s remember, is going to be two-thirds of the season at least, I can see it. Jermaine will start, but I can see Shaq coming in for him with four to six minutes left in Q1 and Q3 since I know Doc’s going to want to play him with the starters some to see how that will work. Probably he stays out there with the bench until midway through Q2 and Q4. That’s roughly 10-12 minutes each half.

  • Devon
  • Devon
  • Cesar

    Okay let’s review why we singed Jermaine and Shaq. we need boards (offensive & defensive), Shaq it’s a big presence down load we all know he’s is not the greatest free throw wise, but he can draw fouls and put teams on early penalties. Jo has a better mid jumper then either perk or Davis he is still fairly young despite the injuries to the ankle. When it comes to minutes 1.) it depends on the opponent,2.) match ups, who can guard who 3.) Defense side of the end, even if the game it’s going wrong and either Jo or Shaq are grabbing defensive boards, and getting stops its more likely that they will stay on but the most important factor on this is Kg’s level of production, if KG is struggling or seems out of shape for exmaple Shaq and Jo will most likely play more minutes in the 2nd game of back to back. because Kg will be partially tired from the previous one this means he was more time to recover and wouldnt have to perform as long.

  • Cesar

    If they all can play at 20-25 minutes per game and win games this means we are set to go to the Finals. everybody is on the same pace getting stops scoring working as a team it doesn’t matter who gets more minutes. as long as they can all play together and work together they can beat anyone (Miami, Lakers). yes Dwade James and Bosh can all score when they want. but Zydruanus howard, are rare scorers Bosh will have a difficult time getting by both O\neils or KG if the other bigs aren’t playing as well

  • JP

    I think a lot depends on matchups, but 20 minutes would be on the high end of where I think he’ll end up minutes wise.

  • Jason

    20-25 minutes sounds about right, at least until Perkins comes back. Even then, I think it’s going to be a start-stop progression for Perkins and maybe a lost season. The minutes are going to start low, he might sit out the second of back to backs, there might be flareups. That doesn’t leave much time with only half a season to go.

    Regardless, JO could take over Perkins 27 minutes and Shaq could fill Rasheed’s 22. Anything less from these two means Garnett is going to have to play more. He might just because his health is better but it’s not going to be by much.

    Shaq is going to play a crucial role because he’s the best rebounder on the team (unless Garnett can regain his rebounding form) and its best scorer on the block. When you’re the best at some particular things, you’re going to get some time.

  • mike

    i could see him getting those minutes, if only to make sure he and j oneal stay fresh, as well as kg’s minutes being limited throughout…

  • Jeff

    With Perk out he’ll be right around 20 minutes because if JO is starting then he won’t be the first guy off the bench so either way, if Shaq starts or JO starts they’ll still need roughly 20 a night out of Shaq. Same for Davis to keep KG’s minutes down.

    I see all the starters, save for Rondo, playing right around the 30-35 minute mark this season to keep those big three playing at an efficient level. Bench players can expect to get 15-20 minutes a night of PT. Probably slightly less in bigger games.

    Rondo will play somewhere in the 36-38 minute a night range.

    Nate will be the one who is toughest to care for his minutes because Rondo is the only starter who can log extended minutes each night without getting severely worn down.

    Hopefully Quis can play 18-20 minutes while staying healthy. That will be the biggest part of the bench. If he can do that and play up to his level of talent, C’s will cruise to a title.

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