J. O'Neal's return delayed by the flu


J. O'Neal's return delayed by the flu

By Jessica Camerato

BOSTON - Jermaine O'Neal didn't play Wednesday, but it wasn't because of his injured knee.

O'Neal, who's been sidelined since early November because of knee troubles, was ready to return against the Philadelphia 76ers. He had two practices under his belt and was getting back into the swing of the game.

Until he got sick.

"I think he'll play next game Saturday against the Orlando Magic, hopefully," Doc Rivers said before the game. "Just not feeling well. Flu."

Rivers says O'Neal would have played against the 76ers if not for the bug. He was pleased with O'Neals performance in practice for one simple reason.

"He made it. He made it through practice," said Rivers. "Really, he just needed to get minutes so he was ready. I don't know how much we'll play him even when he comes back right away, but at least he'll be in uniform hopefully on the Christmas Day game."

While Rivers looks to have O'Neal back in the lineup against the Magic, he is not counting on Rajon Rondo.

Rondo (ankle) made an appearance during Tuesday's open practice, but didn't run through drills. Although Rivers has not talked to Rondo about his status, he is optimistic about the point guard's progress.

"I know he's walking and running pretty well, moving a lot better, so I know he's getting pretty close," Rivers said. "But I haven't really asked."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcamerato

Bulpett: 'Now it's all on Danny Ainge' after making no trades

Bulpett: 'Now it's all on Danny Ainge' after making no trades

Steve Bulpett believes Danny Ainge needs to have a great draft, and sign great free agents this offseason in order for the Celtics to compete for a championship next year after making no trades.

Paul George on trade talks: 'Thought I’d be in the loop a little more'

Paul George on trade talks: 'Thought I’d be in the loop a little more'

After a lot of speculation ahead of the trade deadline, Paul George is still a member of the Indiana Pacers.

Meeting with the media at Thursday's practice, George addressed the rumors, but sounded a bit frustrated about not being “in the loop” in regards to trade talks. 

“I was kind of on the ropes just like you guys were on what was about to happen,” George told reporters, per Clark Wade of the Indianapolis Star. “It’s kind of a dark moment, a lot of uncertainty. That was the frustrating part. You want me to be your guy here, thought I’d be in the loop a little more.”

The Celtics were one of the teams who were reportedly interested in George, but on the CSN Trade Deadline Special, Chris Mannix said the C's “weren’t really close” to landing the All-Star.

George, 26, will be a free agent after the 2017-18 season.