A couple housekeeping items this afternoon, after Doc Rivers spoke to the media earlier today at the C’s shootaround prior to Game 2 tonight. As usual, it was a mixed bag on the C’s 39-year-old center, but the admission by Doc that O’Neal was able to make it through a full scrimmage provides something to build on. Here’s Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com on the scene:
On his progress and recovery: “He looked great [Monday], went through the whole practice,” said Rivers. “He was phenomenal, actually. … But by the end of practice, he was struggling walking, so we’ll see. I would say Game 3 is becoming likely. Game 2, we’re not sure yet, but I doubt it.” He can [run during the scrimmage], but it’s the after-effects of doing it,” Rivers said. “Just watching him walk on the bus, even this morning, the recovery time is just tough for him.”
On his potential impact in series: “Hell, if he told me today he can play, and [team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] and them said he could play, I’d have no problem playing him,” Rivers said. “At the end of the day, unlike all of us, he’s big. You know what I mean? When we play him, he’s still going to be big. He’s still going to be bigger than anybody on the floor. And if that’s for two minutes or 40 minutes, you’re still big. Height matters.”
O’Neal’s soreness may make any potential decision to play tonight a moot point, and a Boston Herald report has Shaq confirming to a New York Daily News reporter that he won’t play tonight. The time keeps ticking, but with a three-day break looming between Games 2 and 3, the return of O’Neal appears to be closer than ever.