The last two games at the TD Garden have featured visits from former Celtics. Last Wednesday, it was Tony Allen. On Friday, it was Gerald Green. And tonight, Jermaine O'Neal will carry on the great tradition as he takes the court as a member of the Phoenix Suns. (I'm not sure if there will be a video tribute, but he'll be officially awarded last year's Training Camp MVP award during a ceremony at halftime.)
Not that you need an excuse to get down on Jermaine, but here's something to think about as you watch him run around for 15 or so minutes tonight: He's actually playing pretty well.
First of all, O'Neal's played in 28 of the Suns 36 games this season. And while that's still a significant chunk of missed time, those 28 games are also already more than he played in either of his seasons in Boston. He's already scored more points (189) than he did in either of his two seasons in Boston. To put it another way, he's actually a serviceable seven-footer. He could help the Celtics right now.
But would he be there tomorrow? That's always the question with Jermaine, and the answer is usually "no." So I don't think you'll hear many: "Awww, Danny never should have let him go"s tonight at the Garden." But hopefully there will be at least one "Training Camp MVP! Training Camp MVP" chant during his first trip to the line.
Rich can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine