Per Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com with some key practice notes from the afternoon via Doc:
On the team’s health: “Everybody’s good,” said Rivers. “Everybody is feeling pretty good. Shaq went through practice, we didn’t do anything today, we just watched film and walked over some stuff, and then the second unit [not including O’Neal] worked on their stuff. Right now, we expect every single guy, including Shaq, to play [in Game 3].”
On Shaq’s chances of playing: Asked why he’s now more confident that Shaq could play, Rivers said with a laugh , “Because he told me he was going to play,” then added, “[Team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] thought he would play, so I do expect him to play. If he didn’t, it would be because something went wrong in practice with his body. But right now, I expect him to play.”
Rivers admitted the team isn’t sure what Shaq’s practice workload will look like this week in order to prevent the sort of post-activity soreness he experienced after his first full on-court workout Monday in Miami. That soreness contributed to him not being active for Game 2.
“We’re not going to let him do too much,” said Rivers. “Someone will ask: How much is too much? Hell if I know. I don’t know what too much is. Walking on the floor could be too much. We’ll figure that out.”
On Ray Allen’s bruised chest: “It’s still a little tight,” said Allen. “It wasn’t bad, but I couldn’t do some of the things I wanted to do when I worked out. It feels a lot better from two days ago.”
Full analysis of Shaq’s potential impact on the starting lineup on the way later tonight, but it’s safe to say Saturday night’s main event just got even more intriguing if that’s possible. Does Shaq play an uneventful few minutes with a couple points and three quick fouls? Does he jumpstart Boston’s inept offense at the rim? Somewhere in-between? And will it even matter? Only 48 hours until we find out.
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