Post-game Reactions

Doc Rivers hit the airwaves this morning on WEEI and gave us an update on the latest involving the statuses of Jermaine O’Neal and and Shaq as they inch closer to a return, to help boost this team’s size and strength down low:

“Jermaine will join us in Indiana, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to play,” said Rivers. “But he will join us in Indiana [on March 28]. Danny went down to look at him, I guess he looks great. Hopefully Shaq will be back within the next five or six days as well.”

That timetable should align well for a return for both guys next Thursday night in San Antonio. The C’s follow that contest with a back-to-back in Atlanta Friday night, so Doc could try to do some manuevering here and have Shaq return one night, and Jermaine the next or vice versa, to give both guys a chance for some run. Whatever the case, the chance for Troy Murphy to see any significant playing time even through the regular season or diminishing quickly.

A few other notable tidbits from that interview:On Rondo:

“It’s coming back, I will say that. I thought he went through a little stretch where he was struggling. I would say the last three games you can see it coming back. Even last night, I thought he forced the issue a little bit, and that was good in some ways. Some shots aren’t going in for him, but I think his attacking is back and that’s good.”

On Differences in Slumps Between This Year and Last Year:

“Last year was more us doing that on purpose, not losing games but resting guys. We used the last 15, 20 games as preseason because we were not healthy and trying to get healthy. This season we are waiting for a couple of our bigs, no doubt about that. We’ll change our ration. When you think about Shaq starting and Nenad coming off the bench with Baby, that changes your bench, makes your bench stronger. But we still have to play better and improve. We have to get our rhythm back in some ways and we have time to do that. But that’s why we need to work.”

That last response there is the scary part. Last year, they had a plan. Most thought it wouldn’t work, but the guys in the locker room believed it the entire time. This year, the losing, well that’s not part of the plan. Throw in all the new bodies and injuries into the mix, and you have yourself a heck of a challenge on your hands with even stiffer competition this year in the playoffs. Further letdowns are not an option, if Boston wants to improve its seeding and with road games at Miami and Chicago likely to be crucial in deciding the top three seeds, the C’s need to find their rhythm by then, or pay for it during their entire postseason run.

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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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  • kricky

    I thought Shaq was coming back tomorrow?

  • celticfan

    who the hell are they kidding. the o"neils are useless. i am so sick of hearing about them . shaq and JO just need to stay home and collect there pay checks that's the only thing they are good for.what has either one of them done for the team NOTHING that what!!!!!!!.. don't know why Doc and Danny are so hung up on them. i don't see either one of them out there on the floor with the guys trying to win this.so to hell with them. as far as i'm concern they are not Celtics.Danny really screwed up when he got them and then with this damn trade he just did. hasen't help us one bit . i don't see the Celtics winning any championship this year or any time soon the way they been playing .. but we will see i may be wrong but don't think so the celtics are just not in sync with each other any more. you can see it when they come out to play it's sad they lost it. but thanks to Danny he knew all the answers. so it's all on him when they loose.

    • Mike

      What are you talking about? 14 game winning streak with Shaq… without the O'neils there's no size, they're fundamental to the title run.

    • MOREY


    • Its not about scoring with the oneals its the defense u see how roy hibberyt did them without shq or jermaine but with one of them he would have been shut down

  • SteveB

    A healthy Shaq and JO would make the Celtics the favorites in my book, however biased. Right now I'd be happy with them both back at 80%, Nenad to play like he did his first few games in Boston, and for Green to get more playing time and passion when he does play. As far as Green, it may just be he makes it look easy, but he reminds me of Marquis at times. Able to dominate his man when he wants to but then disappears for multiple trips down the floor.

  • kricky

    I don't know what to believe anymore vis-a-vis the O'Neals situation. Very frustrating.

    • someguyinsac

      Want to borrow my O'Neal coin just for fun?

  • kricky

    Another thing: Troy Murphy is a complete BUST. Jeeze, even Scal was 10 time better than this guy. At least he could actually get shots up and play some D.

    • Zee

      He has traveled in the last two games.

  • James Patrick

    Troy Murphy is still playing like he's wearing a Net's jersey.

    I'm not worried about the big fella. Shaq will be back

    J.O. was a bust this season. Time for everyone to just accept that. Not that Ainge or anyone could've known. Seemed like a good idea at the time. But he's wasted precious time when he should've just sucked it up, got the surgery and got back on the court to earn that pay check.

    I am worried though. I'm getting to the point where I'm just hoping someone will beat the Lakers because if we can't win it, I sure as hell don't want them winning it either cuz then we'll have to hear all this BS about how they're tied with us for titles when we all know those titles from Minneapolis are crap. Most Laker fans don't even know who George Mikan is! lol and the ignorant response is always, "I don't care, I know who #24 is" Durrrrrr. lol

  • bayridgeboy1954

    Waiting for the O'Neals has been the theme of this Celtics' season. I suppose the Perkins trade was consummated in part because of the belief that this wait would be worthwhile. Still, they've gone a long time, and have contributed very little when they were here!

  • Dr H

    The part that gets me is how everyone was saying Shaq is/was great here because we don't need him to be anything special, (like what Cleveland needed him to be, or what Pheonix needed him to be), we just needed him to plug up the paint and get some easy baskets here and there..but essentially NOW he's suddenly top priority and needs to come back to help us win a championship..not looking good in my eyes.

    I'll say this..I'll stand behind these Celtics because they are my team and I support them fully. I hope they win the championship. I know they CAN, but I'm not sure if they will..at the beginning of this season there was just that "feeling" surrounding this tea,, it was a great feeling..I knew we would for sure win the championship. Since the trade that feeling has gone away completely, for the worse. I just hope and pray everything goes according to plan and we can finish business..I know I won't be able to stomach watching this team get beat by the Bulls, Heat, Lakers, Spurs, or Mavs.

    • Morpheus

      Beginning of the season >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Now.
      So sad.

  • Lakersfan

    (Again, before I start want to see a Celts v. Lakers Finals)

    Here's the sad and happy thing about Shaq:

    HAPPY: Celts need Shaq to get anywhere in the finals and he's probably going to be fresh for the Playoffs. He's a fat shell of his former, former self. He completely useless for more than 5 mins at a time. But he's still 7'1" 380lbs. of pure bone, muscle and mostly neck fat. That's a lot of mass for Dwight to move. He's also a solid 6 fouls to throw up at anyone and there's no such thing as "and one" when Shaq fouls you. With the still-yet-to-be-explained exit of Perkins, someone has to be a post defender and Shaq can still fill that role.

    SAD: It's a shame that the Celtics need a person like Shaq. It's one thing to need Delonte West to relieve Ray Allen. It's a good thing to need Glen Davis to fill in the points in the paint when KG's out. It's really sad that the Celts need a 39 year old out of shape, 10 years past his prime, center who's no good for more than 5pts, 5reb, 0ast in 20 minutes of play.

    If the Celtics post season relies on Shaq to protect the paint, I think he'll pull through, but it won't be pretty. It certainly isn't a sure thing. Just watching how Marc Gasol had his hands on virtually every missed shot last night showed me what an idiot Danny Ainge is. I would have used Perkins for this year's playoff push and just let him walk during free agency. Jeff Green ain't going to win you any post season games, not now, not ever. Krstic sucks.

    • kricky

      I have to admit you are pretty objective for a Fakers fan. Grudging thumbs up.

      You guys must HATE Shaq and I can understand your reasons. But Shaq was a lot better than you give him credit for. You are right that he can't go for more than minutes at a time. But he was pretty damn dominant out there when he did play and was a big part of the fast start we went out to.

      You are spot on in your analysis of the trade and of last night's game. You guys must have been dancing on Sunset Blvd when you heard we traded Perk. From experience you guys also know Green pretty well too and know that, while he is a pretty solid player, he really isn't that much of a game changer like Perk can be. This makes all the talk that "we got the best player in the trade" irrelevant.

      Be that as it may, I have to support my team, even if that means putting on the blinders. In my heart of hearts I believe Shaq has enough spite in him to turn back the clock a couple of millenia and be a difference maker in the finals against his hated former team.

      • Chris O

        I'm sorry I love Perk, he is not 'a game changer'. Nor is/was he a better rebounder than Garnett. Perk, for his size and position is actually a sub-par rebounder. That being said I love and miss Perk. But a healthy Shaq is good for 15-20 mins, 6 fouls and about 10-15 pts and 5-8 rebounds a game. Please don't tell me Shaq isn't the 'missing piece' for this team. He may not be the best player, or the most important player on the team but as the 5th best starter and the completion of a possible Hall of Fame starting 5 he could b the missing piece. That also makes your bench VERY strong and deep with Delonte, BBD, Green, Krstic who are all borderline starters. Fill out the remaining 12 or 15 however you like and you got a team that has as good a chance as any to get a trophy/banner. SAY SOMETHIN!!!

        • Morpheus

          Yeah, people need to get over this Perk is a game changer thing. He's NOT. Shaq brings everything Perk does, but is a much more efficient finisher at the basket.

  • Zee

    NBA uploaded this to their YouTube today. Kinda reminds all of us of what we saw and miss in Rondo's game. Hopefully he'll get it back in gear soon. Doc said he's seen the true Rondo return in glimpses the last three games.

    The Rajon Rondo Video Game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyolagnPNEg

    • I_Love_Green

      Rondo will be back in the playoffs don't worry. Thats when Playoff Rondo shows up, who is the best PG in the league.

      • Batman

        Here's the thing guys: I love Rondo
        See when people moan and whine "We want D-Rose, D-Will, C-Paul!" u shake ur head and go :/O "No! There is no way we would have the big three and have anyone of them". Rondo is an elite PG. Nobody except some odd homers say he is the best PG in the league. Of course its anyone's opinion. Timothy Varner, great spurs blogger, thinks hes the second best PG in the NBA who is almost at Chris Paul's level. But Rondo is our guy, guys. When he has bad games u have to get angry. When he dominates you have to be happy. That's the whole beauty of loving a basketball team, and a player. Yes he had a bad game, yes he needs a jumpshot, yes he needs to be a better free throw shooter, and yes he is not the best looking. But come on guys, give him a break.

  • Sam

    Rondo needs to bring back the headband

  • Batman

    Hmmmm I'm gone for a couple days and u guys let Kobe Bryant walk in here?!?!?

    • Chris O

      Please chase him out, I can't stand this fool

  • lakershater13

    I thought Murphy was a good sign for us but after last night I'm thinking we should have brought back Powe. I really hope the Oneals can come back and make that situation irrelevant. I think this Shaq "injury" is just a way of getting him in better shape for the stretch run. He showed everyone he was ready to play. Now he is taking another summer break and he will be back to where he was before this "injury".

    • Batman

      See I wish we brought back Powe but honestly at the time, who seemed better? Powe who was coming off of surgery or Troy Murphy, the dude everyone wanted. 🙁

    • Patrick

      idk man i thought the whole Shaq injury was a hoax but he's old achilles is a bothersome injury and hes not 100% obviously if he got a cortisone shot and is gonna be in a boot for a week….i gotta see him out there for a couple games b4 I can judge it….and idk y maybe this is optimistic but I think JO will be good when he gets back blocking shots and getting defensive rebounds

  • al coholic

    Shaq will come back and AS LONG SHAQ DOESN'T GET RE-INJURED Boston will win a championship this year. Jermaine O'Neal knew he wouldn't be able to play before he signed his contract and he's screwed all you Celtics fans out of having another player added to the team in his stead: Jermaine's greedy and only cared about making money from this contract from day one. Kendrick Perkins wasn't traded to provide depth to Boston: He was traded, because Danny Ainge and the management and the owner wanted to spite him for not signing an extension with them after everything they've done for his ungrateful a$$. That's where they went wrong. They can still win, but it's like I put in caps in the beginning of my post "AS LONG AS SHAQ DOESN'T GET RE-INJURED," because if he does-Boston will lose. At least with Kendrick Perkins if Shaq got re-injured Boston would still win. I'm a Shaq fan-not a Celtics fan-I want Shaq to win another title-I don't like or dislike the Celtics-but it'd be a shame if Shaq does get re-injured-cuz the Celtics and all you fans will be getting screwed out of a championship because of your organization running and doing its decision-making based off of SPITE rather than professionalism!

  • When shaq in jermaine get back they not going to lose many games so I really don’t care if they lose or not anymore into they return now watch tonight they destroy san antonio spurs in watch paul pierce go off tonight in kevin garnnett go off as well but we need rondo attacking basket cause he just as good as derrick rose in the paint but he also need sum assists. So get the ball in paul pierce ray allen or kevin garnett or big baby or jeff green hand in they going to destroy san antonio and chicago and the hawks and miami they so sorry lol

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