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Saturday Notebook: Shaq Good To Go, Game 3 Refs, Haslem Out


We are in the waning moments of the countdown to Game 3, so here’s the latest on this dreary Saturday afternoon in Boston to get you ready for tonight’s showdown.

Shaq’s Ready

Per WEEI.com Shaquille O’Neal made it through two practice sessions and participated in the team’s morning shootaround on Saturday and looks ready to go for Game 3 of the Celtics playoff series with the Heat, which resumes Saturday night at the Garden. Shaq didn’t speak with reporters although he was spotted in practice gear as the team left the floor.

Tonight’s Referees: Bob Delaney, Bill Kennedy, and Steve Javie. Naturally the Celtics have had a number of run-ins with each of these guys over the past two seasons. Let’s run through each of the problems with the help of Dan Duggan of The Boston Herald and Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com

Kennedy: Rivers and Kennedy have had an acrimonious relationship for years. Both were fined following a game on March 17, 2009. Kennedy ejected Rivers after they stared each other down for an extended period of time.

Rivers was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his critical comments of Kennedy after the game. In an unusual move, Kennedy was fined for his handling of the situation and the news was made public, though the amount was undisclosed.

“[Kennedy] stood there and goaded me and goaded me and goaded me and stared at me,” Rivers said after the game. “Look at the film. I actually walked away. He asked me, ‘Where do you want the ball?’ And I said, ‘Ask them,’ talking about our players. That’s my right to say that, and I walked away. He stood there and stared me down and stared me down and goaded me until I turned around and said, ‘What?’ That’s when I got thrown out of the game.”

Delaney: Delaney drew the ire of Shaquille O’Neal in a Christmas Day matchup against Orlando in which the Big Shamrock fouled out in only 13 minutes of play during a nationally televised battle. O’Neal was fined $35,000 for his comments on the officiating.

Said Shaq of Delaney: “I guess they came out to see No. 26 [Delaney's uniform number] today. He was a great player out there today… [Fans] paid all that money to watch No. 26 play. If I was a fan, I would be pissed. You pay all that money for good seats, you have two of the best guys in the [NBA] sitting on the bench, out of the game. That is what happens when you have control freaks out there.”

Javie: Javie tossed Rivers from a forgettable loss in Phoenix in January (the same game Kevin Garnett got ejected from for his low blow on Channing Frye). Rivers was fined $15,000 for not leaving the court in a timely manner.

Said Rivers of Javie: “He actually came into our huddle. We were standing there, he came up to us. I’ll tell you exactly what was said. He said, ‘You guys are complaining way too much.’ And I said, ‘Well, let’s make the right calls.’ And his answer back was, ‘I’ll make a call for you.’ And that’s how I got the tech… I didn’t have any choice words for him. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t even swear then. You know what I said? ‘It’s about the game. It’s not about one individual.’ That’s all I said, over and over again.”

Obviously, these three guys won’t be the deciding factors tonight, but it will probably be in the C’s interest to be on their best behavior this evening.

Finally, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel Udonis Haslem will remain inactive for tonight’s game. However, center Erick Dampier, who has not dressed for the entire series, could see action to combat the return of Shaq to the middle for the C’s. A full report upcoming from the Garden in the pregame for the latest on Shaq’s and Dampier’s status.

  • talesofJP

    Crap, the refs havent been good in this series and are getting worse. Dampier will suck, Shaq will help. Go Celtics!

  • kricky

    Stern must get a big cut out of all those Lebron and Wade jersey's sold.

    • janos

      Janos jersey too small these days.

  • Batman

    I don't want to watch the game to see Number 26

    • janos

      Batman are you have any snack for game? My son will bring over a chip for us and pepsi. Cookie too but only if Celtic win.

      • Batman

        Ha, some bagels and lox maybe.

        • janos

          sound good Batman, enjoy

  • johnschaffer

    well i see where game 3 is at already , why cant we get the west coast refs ?

    • shut_it_up

      absolutely. i want the refs for the Thunder-Grizzlies game. no star-dazzled eyes there.

    • Dee

      You do realize there aren't east coast and west coast refs, right? They all cover every single city, and your semi-final and finals refs are your veterans. Best in the league.

      • MDD

        I think he meant from the west series…Not sure about these refs being the best in the league always, just the ones who have been around longest, and on Stern's fix-team.

        • Dee

          They don't assign refs to a series. They go all over the place. They sit and wait for their assignments depending on who wins and loses. Unless he meant he wishes they had the ones that were assigned for the game earlier today? Either way, the refs chosen for the later series are those who have proven the best stats throughout the year, usually the veterans. The newbie refs usually don't see playoff games until they've been in 7-10 years.

  • yordgreat

    i predict another 4th q offensive futility……

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