O'Neal makes most of time on court

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O'Neal makes most of time on court

BOSTON Jermaine O'Neal left the floor early in Boston's 81-73 win over Toronto, a scene that has never had a happy ending for him or the Celtics.

Not to worry, Celtics Nation.

O'Neal having a limited role on Wednesday was part of the game plan coming in, according to Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.

"I told Jermaine before the game that we were going to play Greg (Stiemsma) a lot," Rivers said. "We're going to try and get (Chris) Wilcox in that one little stretch in the second half. So I told him he wasn't going to play a lot."

But even with his minutes limited, there was no mistaking the impact that he made on defense.

O'Neal played less than 12 minutes, but still racked up four blocked shots and as well as a charge.

"His blocked shots, his timing, they're just amazing," Rivers said. "He looks great. What you saw is what he's been all camp. You rarely see a guy that blocks shots and takes charges. He does both. that's just unusual."

Celtics guard Keyon Dooling played with the Milwaukee Bucks last season, and said he considers Bucks center Andrew Bogut as a player like O'Neal in terms of having the ability to block shots and draw charges.

Still, Dooling recognizes that players who excel at both are rare.

"It's awesome to have guys like JO at this point in their career," Dooling said. "Where he understands the game, he understands his body, he understands what he can and can't do. He led our team in the preseason with charges. That's something that's very undervalued in our league, and that's points in the paint that he's taking away. He's going to be very important, especially with our lack of a lot of size."

Dooling added, "It really does something special for you team when you have a guy at the rim who can not only block shots but take charges, given the opportunity. It definitely brings an added dimension for us."

Turner jokes that Celtics will retire his number

Turner jokes that Celtics will retire his number

It’s not the craziest thing someone has said on Twitter, but Evan Turner tweeted Monday that the Celtics should retire his number. 

It was a joke, of course, as the former Celtic was reacting to news that Isaiah Thomas had said he liked the No. 11 and would change his jersey number if so many people in Boston hadn’t already purchased his No. 4 jersey. 

After Turner joked that No. 11 was going to be retired, Thomas joked back that he would wear No. 11 as a tribute to the current Trail Blazer. 

Prior to being traded to Boston, Thomas wore No. 22 for Sacramento and No. 3 for Phoenix. 

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 

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The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability.