Blog Entry

Shaq to return April 1?

Posted on: March 24, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 2:12 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Boston needs its big man back, bad. And finally, he might be on his way back to the court. According to ESPN Boston, Shaquille O'Neal is set to return April 1.

Shaq has not played since Feb. 1 due to a sore right Achilles tendon, missing 22 games. A large reason Danny Ainge stamped the approval on trading starting center Kendrick Perkins is because he believes Shaq, once healthy, will be every bit the big man in the middle the Celtics need.

Without him, Boston has struggled to find consistency inside. Glen Davis has done yeoman's work, but he just doesn't have the size. Troy Murphy isn't a good enough paint presence to defend. Nenad Krstic has been fine since joining the team, but again, isn't quite the defensive stopper the Celtics need inside.

Add Shaq in though and now the Celtics have a bit of depth. Shaq starts, Krstic backs him up and adds an extra offensive punch off the bench and now Big Baby goes back to his normal role of backing up Kevin Garnett. It will be interesting though to see if Doc Rivers still goes small with Davis at the 5 instead of Shaq in crunch time situations. Something to watch for once Shaq returns.

But with the Celtics struggling as of late, getting help for the last two weeks of the season and heading into the playoffs is huge. Again, the trade was made with it in midn that one of the O'Neals would be back to help. And it looks like the better one in Shaq will be available for the postseason.

Not that the Eastern Conference is that strong inside, but to get over a team like the Bulls that feature Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer on their frontline, the Celtics desperately need Shaq. Krstic and Davis just won't cut it there. The question is how healthy he'll be, because before the injury, he was playing really well in his limited role.

If he's back in form, the Celtics may survive the curious Perkins trade and have a little extra depth with Krstic and Jeff Green to go with it. But a lot hinges on a 39-year-old's achilles, which is a scary thing.
Category: NBA

Since: Aug 13, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 7:17 am

Shaq to return April 1?

I'm already tired of constantly hearing he MIGHT be back at this date and that date. When he's back he's back

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2011 2:50 am

Shaq to return April 1?

If Shaq does NOT make it back in good form for the playoffs, they may not make it to the Finals, but if they do, the Lakers will eat them alive.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: March 24, 2011 11:11 pm

Shaq to return April 1?

I heard a rumor that the Celtics are going to make a run at DHoward at the end of the year.  If that is the case, then all this other stuff Ainge is doing does make sense.  I don't see Howard going to Boston however.  I don't think Rondo is going to draw him into the green.  With the other three stars aging, the Celtics really won't have a scoring threat to take the heat off of Howard.  I still think Howard will wear the purple and gold within two seasons.  I have to admit that is a biased opinion.

Since: May 15, 2010
Posted on: March 24, 2011 10:49 pm

Shaq to return April 1?

Looking at the team's age and contracts, and older or not ,some mythic players, Danny did the right thing for now and the future. Takes a big set to try something like this in Boston. Hope things go as well as Theo moving Nomar. That was a tough one too but we all remember how that turned out

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: March 24, 2011 7:52 pm

Shaq to return April 1?

I am sure the overweight 39 year old center is going to right the ship.   Should have kept Perkins!

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: March 24, 2011 6:22 pm

Shaq to return April 1?

Then he'll get injured again in an elaborate April fools joke

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