Post-game Reactions

The Celtics wrapped up their final practice today before Game 1 over in Waltham and held an impromptu press conference to announce that Shaq has been ruled out for tomorrow’s series opener against the Knicks. Here’s Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com with more:

The Boston Celtics attempted to get Shaquille O’Neal back on the practice court Saturday morning, but his ailing right Achilles and strained calf would not allow him to go through the activity and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge announced soon after that O’Neal will not be ready for Sunday’s Game 1 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinals series against the New York Knicks.

“[Shaq’s] been making progress and we tried to get him out there to practice today, to simulate a game as much as we could and he’s not ready,” said Ainge. “We don’t know when he’ll be ready, and we’ll just keep evaluating him day-to-day. So he won’t play in tomorrow’s game.”

Added team physician Dr. Brian McKeon: “This guy’s been working his tail off. He’s worked so, so hard, and today we did a mock trial pre-game workout and he failed. It didn’t work. Just too sore. We’ll get back to work tomorrow and keep knowing what we’re doing and hopefully we can get him back soon.”

CH’s Analysis: This really shouldn’t come as a huge shock to C’s fans. To be perfectly honest, could foreshadow O’Neal missing as much as the entire first series, given his variety of ailments and the way New York’s front line matches up with Boston.

On paper, the C’s should be able to take care of business with or without the big fellow for the first round anyway. With Shaq’s lack of on-court progress, the priority has shifted into getting the guy back onto the floor when the team needs him the most.

In the short term, obviously this puts the spotlight on Jermaine O’Neal, Jeff Green, and Nenad Krstic more than ever, given that’s where Shaq’s potential minutes will be divided between against the Knicks. We’ll have more breaking down those matchups tomorrow, but for now it’s clear that the availability of Shaq will be an ongoing saga for what in all likelihood will be the remainder of the postseason.

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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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  • ElRoz

    Indiana Pacers just showed why they are no. 8 by default – blowing a 10 point lead with 3.30 left in the game! When you come out of the Milwuakee-Charlotte-Indiana contest as the least crappy team, that's what you're expected to do with 3.30 left in the game.

    The Sixers might do even worse – jumpshots, turnovers, and no reboundng.

  • talesofJP

    Any idea who is left off the roster for the first round? I wouldn't mind not seeing Shaq in this series, it won't help him to play this team, and won't help the team that much either.

    • Greg

      Good points. He won't help against NY and doesn't need to be chasing Amare up and down the court. However, would love to seem him get some playing time at some point in this series, so he is somewhat reeady to go for round two. Perhaps when Amare is on the bench.

  • ElRoz

    Can't take Danny at his word. Period.

    As a GM he is supossed to be tricking other GMs, not Celtics fans.

    Shaq MUST and SHOULD retire after this year. Tthat's what all that weight plus burgers and cokes at McDonalnds will do to your body and your health..
    The man cannot even do a light jog up and down the court!
    McD's "Um,um,um. I lovin it"….
    are you?

    • Deal

      Grat Post, made me cry :))))))

  • Janos

    Burger king good too.

  • guest

    How awesome would it be if the Pacers some how upset the Bulls? Would make the road to the finals a hell of a lot easier for the C’s. After todays game even though they blew the game I think Indiana has a fighting chance to upset and beat them.

    • Batman

      Not at all
      Indiana played at their peak, and still couldn't beat the bulls
      Over in 4

  • Morpheus

    This is why i'm not sweating the Bulls. Booze is a terrible defender. Rose is the only real threat on that team.

    • Mike

      Yes and even rose is a one dimensional player. needs 30 shots to get 30 points lives on the free throw line on bogus calls ( he had one in the 2 final minutes that was clearly a charge), not a good defender not an assist guy. mvp whatever…. it seems that to become the mvp your team has to win and you have to score 40 points a game….

  • johnschaffer

    shaq just needs to turn in his uniform , and go where rasheed went , he just builds peoples excitment up to blow us away ,, go away shaq

  • celticfan2

    Danny screwed up when he thought shaq could play, he wasen't doing shit on the other teams so what made him think he could help the celtics. shaq is useless to us. he just needs to retire and admit he can't do it any more. he is not going to help the celtics get shit this year. at least rasheed came out and said he can't do it any more. why lead the fans on and keep saying he will play in the playoffs when they know he won't be playing at all. he can run anymore.

    • NHBluesMan

      Shaq was doing GREAT at the beginning of the year, his body is just breaking down. The difference between him and Sheed is that Sheed was out of shape the whole year and it showed when we needed him. Shaq has been injured, and at 39, weighing as much as he does, his legs can't take that much stress, but he WANTS to contribute. Sheed realized after the fact that he couldn't do it anymore, but i think the beginning of the season showed us what Shaq is capable of when healthy, he's just not healthy now

  • Guest

    I'm probably alone on this thought but I think with Shaq still being hurt I think JO who's been getting rid of the rust he's had all season lately will probably break out in the playoffs. They need a guy inside that can rebound and he can do that when he's focused, not to mention he can also block shots pretty well. The only time I'll be really worried about having Shaq or not will be in the finals or the conference finals if the Bulls make it there too. Hell I think we can beat the Bulls without him too cause wether he's there or not it's not gonna stop Derrick Rose from driving to the lane and getting a ton of free throws. They're gonna give him all the free throws they want.

    It would be very helpful to have Shaq but the C's aren't really doomed without him.

  • kricky

    Good news is that both Chicago and Miami looked pretty beatable today.

    • Batman

      Let's see what we look like too

      • Tom W

        Miami looked pretty tough, honestly. I thought they only really cared for about two quarters. If you can win playoff games only caring for a little while…yikes.

  • Greg

    Shaq was succeeful in LA. He was a very bad fit for a run and gun Phoenix team, which was not his fault. What when on Cleveland was not Shaq's fault. He did what was expected of him Cleveland. He is a great fit for Boston and when he was healthy earlier this year, the C's were a much better team, than last year's team that lost to LA in the last seconds of game 7. The problem is, the team the C's had when Shaq was healthy is gone. Shaq has aged and can't recover from injuries like a younger Shaq could. Again, not his fault. His issues are not about diet, effort or desire. He has already said he will shoot cortozone if they will let him play. The decision as to whether or not Shaq plays is not up to him. The C's are waiting and picking the right spot to bring Shaq back. They don't need him against NY. When they do bring Shaq back, the C's will be a far better team.

  • rondeezy

    with shaq playing next to rondo ray paul and kevin, the celtics are the best team in basketball. shaq hurt himself in 5 minutes when he came back cus he didnt run thru any practices before entering that game. when hes less rusty and playing like he did in the beginning of the season then no team will beat us in a 7 game series. rest shaq until the chicago series, we dont really need against the knicks, or miami really. 15-20 minutes from shaq with some hard fouls and jermaine o neal and krstic can take over the rest. but hey we might not even need him until the finals if the bulls and heat are going to play like they did today against boston lol. i still say orlando over chicago in 7

  • stephen

    Danny Ainge is trying to cover his ass by lying to C's fans when he damned well knows that Shaq coming back at any point in the playoffs is a crap shoot. Shaq is 50/50 at best to come back at all and Ainge damn well knows it. Let;s not be naive here.

  • FireBrianRobb

    This is beyond being the grammar police. You chumps can stick up for him all you want. Brian Robb- FUCK YOU AND YOUR LAZY ASS WRITING STYLE WITH STUPID MISTAKES EVERY FUCKING TIME.

    • someguyinsac

      Oh, get a life already.

  • HELP! I desperately need help with my chipping and pitching. I have no consistency! I am continually catching them fat or sculling them way over the green. I could be shooting mid 80s if it wasn’t for my short game. What do I do to improve it?