Post-game Reactions

Lost admist another gritty shorthanded Celtics win last night was another sobering setback when it comes to guy Doc Rivers wants to be manning the middle when the games count: Here’s A. Sherrod Blakely’s full report from CSNNE.com:

The C’s roster is coming together, for sure.


Not so much.

It seems just when one ailment is on the mend, another one flares up.

The right Achilles tendon injury that O’Neal suffered last month is healing fine, but now he’s once again bothered by some right foot soreness.

Now it’s to the point where the Celtics have no idea when the 7-foot-1 center, who turned 39 years old Sunday, will return to action.

When asked about O’Neal and a likely return date, coach Doc Rivers acknowledged he had no idea.

Both Mike Gorman and Cedric Maxwell both hinted that an April 1st return date may in fact be too optimistic during last night’s broadcast, so it’s clear this is quite the setback for the 38-yea-old in his recovery from an inflamed Achilles’ suffered in January.

The recent success of new addition Nenad Krstic helps to ease some of loss in this department during the regular season, but it will be tough for Shaq to develop the cohesion he needs with the starters if he’s just thrown into the fire after a two month absence when April rolls around.

It’s incredible to think at this point, but we may end up seeing Jermaine O’Neal before Shaq back in the lineup, when push comes to shove. Given the fact that Shaq is only really needed for a eight week stretch in April, May and June, it’s no surprise the team is being as cautious as possible right now when it comes to this injury.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • celticfan

    we don't need shaq who cares if he even comes back he hasen't really helped us win any games.the O"neil brothers are useless.

    • Lorilei

      Shaq hasn't helped us win any games? Did you forget the good games he gave us in November in December? lol

      • Lorilei


    • Nbsmatambo

      Lol, only a fool would say that Shaq hasn’t helped us… Very efficient offensive player and compitent defender.. With that said he can take the regular season off imo, lose some weight, come back meaner than ever in game 1

  • bohaterewicz

    we need their 12 fouls

  • Batman

    we need their good looks

    • Robert


  • AussieCeltic

    we need their ball handling

  • dennis

    jermaine o'neal is a waste of money – midlevel exception for naught!
    at least shaq is only the minimum

  • Guest

    I hate to harp on this… I really do. But once again, I look at this as

    Literally after every win we have a report that Shaq's ailments get worse…
    Miami lost yesterday and we now have a 3 game lead for 1st place in the East….

    If we were to drop 2 games in the next week here I guarantee Shaq would be back the next game.

    As our cushion widens his prognosis worsens… Maybe I'm being blindly optimistic but I think they're using our conference lead as reason to keep him out

  • Shaq was a potent offensive weapon early in the season, and he used his six fouls and 350+ lb. body to intimidate as a defender. It will be interesting to see if he can still do it despite the rust.

    Fortunately, Krstic has been a force on offense with the starters and if he’s not in the lineup to close the game, Baby and Green can both finish.


  • Nate

    I would have to believe that considering the recent trades that Doc and Danny have to believe that Shaq will be just fine. I give some merit to the theory that he could go tomorrow if he needed but that they are just using this opportunity to save him for the playoffs. However, I remember the year KG went down and they kept pushing his return back till finally we found out he wasn't coming back. SO who knows….

    • Tos

      This is probably not the case here, but a very good point none the less.

  • Avinash

    I think they are just preserving him for playoffs. There is no point if he plays or not if we keep winning.

  • the.truth.hurts.

    as long as he is good for the playoffs, i'm good. frankly, thats what we got him for anyway. all about 18

  • Los

    everyone here assumes he'll be back for the playoffs which seems less and less likely now. Does anyone remember when Doc kept pushing Garnett's return until he just deemed him unavailable for the post season? I don't even know how shaq could get any further injuries if he's not even practicing. This season's been so frustrating in terms of injuries, Yeah there's a chance shaq will come back for the playoffs but he'll have no chemistry with the new players. can't help it but I'm incredibly pessimistic about our chances come april

    • Guest

      As nice as honesty is you can't tell your fan base that you're start player is out for the rest of the season and playoffs. People lose interest in a team when it drops off as a title contender (as Boston did without Garnett). Doc had to say Garnett was returning. Shaq is big but he doesn't have the KG effect. They can afford to play a little slight of hand with him…

  • kricky

    I never thought I'd say this, but thank god for Nenad.

  • torpid bunny

    The celtics management seems to prefer to underestimate the time lost to injury. How many times have they done that this season? The only time a player came back early I think was Rondo, which was a game or two before Doc estimated. More plausible than the conspiracy theory is that the Celtics just like to lowball time off estimates.

    • Guest

      Rondo, Perkins, actually even Delonte… they all came back earlier than was INITIALLY projected. Players always say they'll come back early, it's in their nature. If you follow the Celtics closely and hear all the players saying their practically ready to come back you're always going to be disappointed because teams keep players out longer than a player wants to be. Which is the smart thing to do

      • torpid bunny

        The day after Perkins was traded his return time was changed from one week to two to three.

    • dslack

      Perk came back early too.

  • kricky

    Well Maybe Doc and Eddie know what they are doing with Shaq. Those injuries he has don't sound too serious (it's not like he has messed up his knee or broken any bones as far as we know). The schedule in March is an easy one and we can win enough games without him. It'd be nice to have more time to integrate him into the offense. But he knows the system by now and has played a ton of minutes already with the starters this season. Plus he doesn't really need to do too much anyway. Just get to the paint and use that big body to clog the lane. It's not like integrating a PG or wIng player.

    I'm just trying to stay positive.

  • Jamie

    We signed Shaq for the playoffs, not for games in mid March. It's ok.

    • What More Can I Say?

      Exactly!!!! Couldn't of said it better myself.

  • Fnguyen

    Truth to be told, there are only two times the celtics would *need* Shaq and one time where he´ll be nice to have. Against the Magic and Lakers he would obviously be a need. Although I believe with his weight he could bother Dwight even rusty and without any offensive factoring. Against LA…. And then Shaq would be nice to have agains MIA to destroy their puny frontcourt, although a healthy KG can do that just fine himself.

    • ElRoz

      If they can egt Shaq, JO, and Baby all healthy for the playoffs, they could have 3 bodies to throw at Dwight in the second round – assuming both Boston and Orlando advance (just to be safe). So 3 bodies is nt too bad – that's 18 fouls.
      Kristic and Murphy, if the latter ever gets his shooting back, could hit the mid-range jumper against the roaming Dwight or draw him away from under the basket.

  • CG12

    People need to accept that we have no idea what is going on and will just need to wait and see. Is it possible that Shaq's 400 pounds could not handle the wear and he will give the Cs little to nothing down the stretch? Yes, it is. Is it possible that they are getting Shaq completely fit and healthy for the last few weeks of the regular season and the playoffs, knowing that the guys who are playing now are good enough to get the team a good record and good seed, with Shaq coming in as a playoff closer/beast without really needing time to gel with the other starters? Also quite possible.

    You can't read anything into proclamations by the Celtics management. It may be gamesmanship, it my be honest, it may be optimistic, it may be pessimistic. We do not and cannot know. I feel confident that my second scenario is the more likely of the two, but am prepared for either one.

  • dtla la

    Krstic has been incredibly good. 14.01 adjusted PER compared to about 10.5 for Perk, confirming what everybody sees out there. But that's not to say Krstic can hold up against big offensive-minded 5s.

    I predict Shaq comes back quickly if the C's lose 3 out of any 5, Krstic's PER drops below 11, or the last two weeks of the regular season, whichever is earlier.

  • ElRoz

    Well, at least Shaq's heel is healing…and this one is a different injury. I almost feel better that way – it would have been a really bad sign if it was that heel AGAIN. So maybe his heel will have even more time to get right? Let's hope.

    I think they do really need him. Yes he only will play 15-20 minutes, but when he does, they have a serious inside presence from aguy know know how to score, and runs in transition as well. Rondo and the rest can and have dumped the ball inside to him, and he does draw attention from other teams.
    On defense, and rebounding he clearly does help as well, even if for about 15-20 minutes. The other issue is that his absence weakens the bench: there is no quality back-up center on the team right now, and I don't feel confident with Big Baby and Murphy as you C/PF right now.

  • Tom W

    Anybody else thinking that, while Shaq would certainly be a gigantic (literally) help to our cause, we can still get banner 18 even if he's done for the season?

    • Dan

      No. What happens if Nenad picks up two early fouls against Orlando. Who guards Dwight? What stops him from dropping 50 on us (other than the Magic's inept pg play).

  • Stephen

    @Tom W —- I would agree with your statement going up against anyone except maybe the Lakers. I think Shaq's importance would be much greater against the Laker bigs.

  • Dan

    ESPN is running the lead now that Shaq will be back in a week and "if this were the playoffs" would play. What's the real story?

  • Ray Ray for 3

    We need Nenad!!

  • Mark

    When is someone here going to mention the bleeding obvious: We need Perkins as the starting center on this team. Remember: this starting 5 never lost!… never! It was a terrible move to trade him away. They could totally have kept him for the playoffs, while still trading away Nate, Marquis, Harangody, and Semih, and got some back up from those 4. Sure, they wouldn't have got players of the calibre of Nenad and Green if they didn't trade Perkins, but they would have got some form of backup players, plus they would have kept the best defensive center in the game, they would have kept their chemistry intact, and the beasts of the east would be ready for another championship!

  • Chris Johnson

    Kendrick Perkins isn't walking through that door anytime soon…