Shaq injury 'not that bad'; Krstic close

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Shaq injury 'not that bad'; Krstic close

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM One of the more popular halftime acts in the NBA is a husband-and-wife tandem better known as Quick Change.

They appear in outfits that literally change, quickly -- hence the name, Quick Change -- before your eyes.

We're seeing a little bit of that these days when it comes to Shaquille O'Neal and the return date for his injuries.

The latest ailment O'Neal is dealing with is a strained right calf suffered in the second quarter of Boston's 101-90 win over Detroit on Sunday.

Coach Doc Rivers reiterated on Monday that O'Neal's latest injury is "not that bad, not that severe."

"He will not probably play the rest of this week," said Rivers, who had a Quick Change moment of his own, and added, "table that. He might play at the end of this week. We're just not sure yet."

Figuring out what to do with O'Neal, healthy or not at this point, is a delicate matter for the Celtics.

While there's certainly some merit in getting him on the floor in spot-duty now to help better prepare him for the playoffs, they run the risk of having a repeat of Sunday night's game, in which O'Neal suffered a right calf strain after playing less than six minutes.

Although Rivers says there's a chance that Shaq may play against Washington on Friday, the Celtics haven't ruled out shutting him down until the playoffs, either.

"If that's what it requires," Rivers said. "We're going to do whatever they doctors tell us is required. Other than that, I would love to play him a couple games."

Even before the injury, Rivers made it clear that O'Neal would not play in all of the C's remaining regular-season games.

The same restrictions are not likely to apply to Nenad Krstic.

Krstic suffered a bone bruise in his right knee in last week's win at San Antonio, an injury that the Celtics initially feared would be worst than it turned out.

An MRI revealed the bone bruise, which has kept the 7-foot center out of Boston's last two games.

However, he was able to practice with the team on Monday and is optimistic that he'll play Tuesday against Philadelphia.

Following Monday's practice, he said the knee was still sore but "it's fine."

When the injury first happened, Krstic admitted he was a bit nervous because it reminded him of when he suffered a torn ACL in 2007 with the New Jersey Nets, an injury that kept him out for the remainder of the season.

But after the initial pain wore off, Krstic was optimistic about coming back soon even before he knew the MRI results.

"I knew right away it wasn't as serious as it was in New Jersey," he said. "I was upset."

But the pain was soon replaced by stiffness -- stiffness that Krstic said is nearly gone.

"I'm fine now," he said.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Report: Clippers' Griffin willing to consider Celtics in free agency

Report: Clippers' Griffin willing to consider Celtics in free agency

With all attention focused on overtaking the Cavs for the No. 1 seed in the East, the offseason -- trades, the draft, free agency -- is on the backburner in Celtics Nation these days.

But that pot's still simmering,

And it began to boil a little today when Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding, in the middle of a story on the Clippers being at a crossroad, threw a little accelerant on that old Blake Griffin-to-Boston flame . . .

But more and more people around the league believe he would be open to a fresh start — perhaps with the Lakers or the Boston Celtics, who have coveted Griffin for years and would offer a new chance to win. The most intriguing fit might be if he were to go home to Oklahoma to join Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, but his interests in the entertainment industry make staying in Los Angeles a priority.

Not much of a thread to grab there. But that didn't prevent cbssports.com's James Herbert from looking into it . . .  

Jumping to another contender on a max contract might not be simple. As CelticsBlog’s Keith P. Smith pointed out, Boston would have to dump Terry Rozier, waive Tyler Zeller and renounce all its free agents, including Kelly Olynyk, Jonas Jerebko and Amir Johnson, in order to even get near the amount of cap room that would be required to offer Griffin or someone like Gordon Hayward a max deal. 

Then again, Herbert says the Lakers and Thunder, Griffin's supposed other two destination spots, are even less financially flexible than the C's.

For now, it's all just a temporary diversion from the battle for No. 1.

It's also a reminder, though, that a whole new season -- the offseason -- is just around the corner.

5 reasons the Celtics will get the No. 1 seed

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5 reasons the Celtics will get the No. 1 seed

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