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Doc: Shaq Expected To Play In Postseason, Could Travel to NY

The Celtics just wrapped up their film session over in Waltham, and with the heavy minutes and nagging injuries, the starters, Delonte West and Glen Davis have been given the day off from on-court activities, according to reports. The rest of the roster playing a 4 vs. 4 game with C’s assistant and former point guard Tyronn Lue taking part in the action.

The big news of the day however, was the latest on Shaquille O’Neal from Doc Rivers. According to Scott Souza of the Metrowest Daily News, Doc made a few statements regarding his much discussed “regular” starting center.

* Shaq would “try to do some things” tomorrow.

* He’s showed continued improvement with the injury, but doubts he will play in Game 3.

*If Shaq travels to New York for Games 3 and 4, there is a “good chance” he will play Sunday for Game 4.

*Doc fully expects Shaq to return before the end of the postseason.

Once again, this is pretty much par for the course at this point regarding Shaq’s status, albeit it sounds a lot more promising than Bill Burt’s NBA source suspicions in a previous post. For now, the best move appears to be a holding pattern when it comes to O’Neal’s status. Hold out hope, while remaining skeptical until the big man is seen back on the floor.

In the meantime, the Celtics have a host of other problems to solve, including the lackluster bench play, inconsistent rebounding, and offensive ball movement to say the least.

On the Knicks end of things, both Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups are set to undergo precautionary MRI’s this afternoon for their respective back and knee injuries according to Alan Hahn of Newsday. We’ll have further news on their statuses for Game 3 Friday as it comes out.

  • Mike

    I believe in Doc. I think the report was just overreaction. He is still up and (trying) running, just because he failed a condition test before, give him a week he'll be fine. Like so many pointed out he's needed for the next rounds. Lets focus on winning a game at time and give Shaq time to recover 'cause I know he'll play for us real soon.

  • someguyinsac

    I don't believe, I'd rather put faith in the unnamed source story and not Doc.

    Just kidding, but I'll take the word of Doc over anyone else any day.

  • kricky

    The Shaqopera continues….

    • cml

      We've disagreed in other places, but you'll get no argument from me here. It's been a melodrama. I know it won't happen, but I wish in some ways the media would stop asking every day and the Celtics would stop issuing new reports every day.

  • talesofJP

    We don't really need him in this series. We can beat the Knicks without Shaq. No sense in having him come back and get hurt again in this series. We will need him for Miami, Chicago, Finals.

    Also, while the Celts haven't been inspiring against the Knicks, are the Bulls giving anyone any confidence in them against the Pacers? Two close games similar to our series. Is there a chance the Magic/Hawks beat the Bulls in round 2?

  • James Patrick

    I TOLD YOU ALL! Some of you said I was being negative. Some of you told me to go root for Perk. One guy even said to go give Perk a BJ if I loved him so much. LOL But now the reality is hitting every Celtic's fan in the face. Shaq was never a #1 Option! He was only here to help until Perk was healthy again. Before the start of the season, we were talking about getting 11-15 solid minutes from him, which is all we should've expected. He's 39. Still a big body but look at Yao Ming and all the foot problems he's had. They're so big, it's just the way it goes. If Shaq had been used accordingly, this never would've happened. And Danny Ainge screwed the Celtics and all their fans. It broke my heart when we lost Perk because deep down I knew that was it. We can all hold out hope. That's what I'm doing. But realistically people, We struggled to win two games at the Garden. Yesterday the Knicks weren't even playing with Billups or Stoudemire. We could easily be down 0-2. I hate to say this but I have that sinking feeling in my gut, the same one I had in 2009 when KG was out. Hope for the best, but don't be surprised by the worst. If we play the way we're playing now in round 2, don't expect to go any further.

    • James Patrick

      it was all chemistry, calling perk a 5th best player isn't giving him the credit he deserves.

      Right now, all this refuting Doc is doing is merely to save face for Ainge who's gonna get a $hit storm dumped on him if we get knocked out of the playoffs.

      • cml

        And if the big 4 aren't mentally tough enough to deal with a player being traded, they still don't deserve to win a title this year.

        You could as easily argue that all of the complaining about chemistry could be used to cover up for the fact that this team from day 1 may not have been good enough to win a title.

        I said in another post, and I'll say here: Danny does deserve criticism … but he deserves it for the offseason. Relying on Marquis as the only backup to PP was a terrible gamble.

        And what's the problem with calling Perk the 5th best player? That's EXACTLY what he was – unless you think he was better than Rondo, Ray, Paul, or KG. He was the fifth best player, and there isn't another championship contender who couldn't survive losing that piece.

        • James Patrick

          didn't say there was a problem with calling him the 5th best. but that core has been together for 4 years. how can anyone say that chemistry was not an issue. just look at their record after the trade. and if they weren't strong enough to win it all the way things stood, i'd rather have lost with Perk than lose with Green and Krstic who probably won't be back next year anyway. Quite frankly, I don't even think I want them back next season. They clearly don't fit.

          • cml

            They lost the first game after the trade. After that, they won 5 straight. Was chemistry an issue then?

            I'm not sure I want either Green or Krstic back, either, but we had 2 options. Let Perk walk at the end of the year, or get something for him now. Danny got something for him. I have no quarrel with that.

          • kricky

            Well I don't think we'll ever see the end of this debate. And I'll stand by my anti-trade assessment.

            But, cml, granting you that Perk was tradeable, don't you think we could have gotten some better pieces?

            Shouldn't Danny have known that Green was not that good a fit? Not that I have followed him closely or anything, but I was pretty unimpressed from what I saw of him in last year's playoffs. Also his numbers (PER, Rebounding) were pretty underwhelming too.

          • cml

            The one that I'm going to wonder about for a while is Battier, honestly. I don't know if that would have been possible, but that's the one player I would have liked to have targeted. If Danny could have gotten Battier and a #1, that would have helped both this year and for the future.

            I'm not necessarily pro-Jeff Green, believe me. I think he and Baby have been two of the biggest problems for this team in the last month plus (with Rondo's play and Ray's lack of shots filling out the list.) I think that it's smart to try and do something with the assets that you have, though, especially since Perk was going to walk at the end of the year.

            Alternately, if Danny had taken care of the backup 3 better than he did in the offseason, Perk could have been swapped for either a good, solid 2/3 with an eye towards Ray leaving, or for a backup 4, since I don't know if anyone other than Glen Davis thinks he's the long term solution at that position when KG goes.

          • james

            Yeah Battier would've been perfect. That's the direction I thought they were going in pre trade deadline.

          • dslack

            That's absolutely the wrong way to look at it. Maximize chances to win a championship this year. That's the only way to look at it. Green will be more expensive than Perk anyway.

    • CG12

      You told us?! Good for you. Now please chill out. I hated to see Perk go, but there were and are good reasons for unloading an injury-prone center who you won't be able to re-sign, so the team isn't left with nothing. This team was perilously thin at the 3 spot after Quisy went out. Green is a good young player who could do that. Krstic is a servicable center. Everybody has always known that Shaq and JO were, at best, gambles. No one thought that they would show up and both be healthy all year. That's why they got them both. When Shaq has played, this team has been a juggernaut. Maybe Shaq will play, maybe he won't, but in either case you can't say Danny screwed the team, because that is just wrong. He has to re-load for this year AND build for the future. Not easy to do. Don't forget we also got a first round pick in the Perk trade.

      There aren't a lot of veteran guys who will take minimal money for a back-up role. so you end up with guys who could help, if the stars line up, but who might also give you nothing if they don't. That is how you build a team around big stars.

      We are up 2-0. Everybody but Shaq is in good health. This team could definitely make a run, so I don't get why people are acting like these two wins are so shaky. We played crappy and still won. Isn't that a good thing? The Knicks are probably better with Carmelo doing all the scoring and playing glue guys like Jeffries instead of Stoudemire, any way. Billups, Anthony, and Stoudemire are all good, but that core doesn't scare me.

      • cml

        Thank you.

        • james patrick

          So I've got a great idea. Let's trade our starting center so we can have a back up at our 3 spot. That makes so much sense! And since everyone knew Shaq and JO were gambles, why go after a serviceable center. There were other ways to strengthen the 3 spot.

          Please, you all want to pat each other on the back for being up 2-0? Am I the only one who watch those games at the Garden? We were lucky. They could've gone either way. The reason why the two wins are shaky is because they were at home. If we won these two on the road the way we did, I'd feel a little better.

          And I'm not concerned about the future, I'm concerned about right now. I'm pretty sure the aging KG, Ray and Paul are too.

          So, here's to hoping we move far into the playoffs and eventually get back to the finals. But should the lakers get there too and we end up not being strong enough in the middle, I won't say I didn't tell you so… again. lol

          • CG12

            Spoken like someone with a safe seat on the sidelines. Perk has always been a useful, but ultimately limited, player. Acting like he was the key to a championship makes no sense. Perk isn't back to what he was. He often didn't play in crunch time, any way, as a result of his offensive limitations.

            As long as we are playing the "what if?" game, what if we keep Perk, but now have no one to back up PP? Doc is forced to either play Paul huge minutes and grind him into dust or play unproven guys like Wafer or (shudder) Pavlovic. Are these your better options? Jeff Green, for all his warts, is orders of magnitude better than any of the waiver wire guys they might have got.

            The goal is to win a championship, but you don't compromise the organization to win one. Thinking only short-term results in, you guessed it, bad long-term results. So then 5 years from now, everyone is ripping Danny for not making some moves to transition out of the new big 3 era. It is easy to criticize someone for not doing something, because you can never be proven wrong. It takes balls to make a tough decision on what offers the best short AND long-term return, and go with it, even it if it means taking the heat if it doesn't work. It may not work out, but at least Danny is doing something. Riding with what you got until the wheels fall off is not a plan.

  • I_Love_Green

    Who is this Shaq guy?

  • rtifishul

    Shaquille O'Neal will return during the postseason, I'm sure of it. This guy knows it's likely his final shot at a banner, so he's going to do anything in his power to make it happen.

    • Morpheus

      And get one more than both Kobe and Timmy.

      • CG12

        shaq needs one more just to catch up to Kobe, who is current up 5-to-4.

  • Zee

    VIDEO: Even today, Ainge maintains he would do the Perkins trade. Interesting. http://bit.ly/eZH5By

    • kricky

      What is he supposed to say? "I fucked up" and sink the team's morale (not to mention what little confidence Green still has).

      • james patrick

        EXACTLY my point!!! damage control boys. that's all this is. trying to save face. You know the best trade he made last year? the no trade of Ray Allen. You should've done the same thing! We were one perkins away from #18 last year in game 7. Now where are we?

        • james patrick

          He looks terrible! Clearly this is wearing on him!

    • Davis

      There's not a precedent of top 3 team giving a way the best player in a trade and getting 40 cents on the dollar at the deadline before. Pretty inexcusable. The Knicks are NOT good but look pretty good against the Cs. Worst mid season GM in a long time.

  • skeeds

    It's getting pretty obvious by now, they're not gonna play Shaq unless it's the only thing to do. When (if) we're 2 games down in a series, he will "decide" to play through the injuries, and come back.

    I have no problem with the Perk trade, it was probably the only thing that could be done. But I do have a problem with the team's style, compared to the past 3 years. This is not Ubuntu. We've gone from "team first" mentality, to trying to prove that with the big four healthy, we can win no matter who else plays (we can't). We went from an overachieveing backup group of misfits that won us games last May, to underachieving statistically perfect backups, who (let's not kid ourselves) have no hope of magically becoming a solid second unit in the playoffs.

    Doc, if he could have it his way, would never consider playing a player who's been out for a long time in the playoffs even if his name was Bill Russell. Now he's forced to throw J.O. in the mix one week, and expecting Shaq the next.

    It might work out just great, it remains to be proven. It's gonna be ugly though, either way…

  • Paul

    No worries at all…Shaq will aboslutely be back AND produce in the playoffs and almost as great as the Celtics winning will be to hear all these negative people eat their words and make excuses for what they said…
    Go C's!

  • greenman

    I think Shaq could play tomorrow if it was on the line and we had lost games 1 and 2. However, we won the two games and unless we drop two in a row in New York we probably won't be seeing the big fella till round 2. I'm in no rush to get him back for this series, we don't need him yet.

    HE HAS A STRAINED CALF MUSCLE!!!! A strained CALF PEOPLE! HE will be back, holy crap. Of course he is old and recovers slower, but were talking about a strain, not a tear, not structural damage, not a joint issue, it is a STRAINED CALF injury. If you've ever strained a muscle, you know that it hurts like a mo-fo, however you also know it's something you can play through. The reason he isn't right now is because there is no need. We are up 2-0. I don't care if we struggled getting there, the fact is that we are up 2-0.

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