A few noteworthy tidbits from practice as the C’s got both good and bad news on the injury front.
We’ll start with a few practice observations. The C’s worked on their half court sets and inbounds plays at the end of their two hour practice. Shaquille O’Neal was not a particpate in these plays or any of practice for that matter, instead he recieved treatment on his sore right knee, injured in a collusion with Amar’e Stoudemire Friday night.
Shaq recieved treatment on the his right knee injury and expects do be able to be back in action by Tuesday night’s contest against Detroit. Doc Rivers though was not so sure about Shaq’s status for Tuesday.
“We didn’t think about him doing anything for today. He probably won’t do anything tomorrow. Eddie (Lacerte) did not think he was ready.”
*In Shaq’s place, Semih Erden practiced with the first unit today, while Jermaine O’Neal who just returned to practice after missing Friday night’s game looked impressive with the second unit at the end of practice, blocking an Erden shot, as well as scoring decisive victories in one-on-one post drills with Luke Harangody and Erden.
Doc expects to start Jermaine if Shaq can not go on Tuesday, though he did not commit to it fully. For all you Big Baby fans wondering why the C’s best player thus far wouldn’t get the nod in Shaq’s place, Coach noted, “I don’t like starting Baby; Baby comes in at the 5 or 4 off the bench and when you start him, now you really take away a lot of options,” said Rivers. “And then if he gets in foul trouble, you’ve taken away all your options.”
Whatever way you slice it, expect Baby to get plenty of minutes Tuesday if Shaq can not go. My guy says they will play it cautious with the big guy, not wanting to risk anything so early against a inferior opponent.
One of Doc’s main fears is not having both O’Neals available on any given night before Perk comes back, so pushing it with a healthier Jermaine and taking it easy on Shaq looks to be the most appealing option.
Odds and Ends
* Doc Rivers raved about Paul Pierce’s rebounding once again from Friday night, calling him one of the three best rebounders at small forward in the league. I agree one hundred percent with that statement. We saw this kind of glasswork last year in the playoffs and a revitalized Truth is showing it may continue.
* Doc on Semih’s development: “He knows how to play, he’s just trying to learn how to play our way. The language barrier is a problem, no doubt about that, but we just gotta keep working on it. He’s going to be a good big in this league and he’s going to be a good big in this league for a long time. I don’t know if he’s a good enough big right now. He is talent wise, but there’s just so many things. It’s tough when you’re a rookie and you understand me; It’s even tougher when you don’t.” Not exactly a raving endorsement, but nice to have your fifth guy off the bench at this juncture. Just don’t count on seeing him much this season unless the injury bug bites hard.
* Shaq pointed out he would be riding in his “Shaquita” costume sometimes on the MBTA tonight so stay glued to his twitter account, if you want to catch The Big Shamrock celebrating Halloween tonight.
*Avery Bradley can’t catch a break. He injured his left ankle again during practice. C’s said it was just a sprain and unrelated to his ankle surgery. No word yet how long it will sideline him, if at all.