The latest on Shaquille O'Neal


The latest on Shaquille O'Neal

By: Rich Levine

WALTHAM The sun rose this morning, which means its time for another update on Shaquille ONeal.

Speaking before Celtics' practice on Friday afternoon in Waltham, Doc Rivers did the honors.

He just did a little bit yesterday, Rivers said of ONeals involvement in Thursdays session. Maybe (hell do) some more today, and really, thats the only update that I have. Theres no decision made or anything."

Though, per usual, nothing is set in stone about Shaq status and possible availability for Bostons second round series with the Heat, Rivers does remains confident that the Big Question Mark will be back on the floor before the Celtics are done with Miami.

Im more confident now that he will play in the series, Rivers said. Maybe (game) one, maybe two but I do think hell play. I guess hes done some stuff with (trainer) Eddie (Lacerte). Eddies more confident that hell play so that makes me more confident.

Rivers touched on the obvious important of having Shaq around: Hes another guy with size and physicality, Rivers said, before (maybe inspired by last nights NFL draft) wrapping the topic up in the most Belichickian of ways.

But it is what it is.

As always stay tuned for more updates.

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Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

WALTHAM, Mass. – As the final horn blew in Boston’s 108-98 win over Charlotte on Monday night, the game was a win-win kind of night for Avery Bradley.

The Celtics (26-15) continue rolling over opponents at the TD Garden, and he played a relatively pain-free 33 minutes in the win.

It was Bradley’s first game back after missing the previous four with a strained right Achilles injury.

And the fact that he was back on the practice floor on Tuesday (be it a light practice, mind you), bodes well for his injury being a thing of the past now.

“I felt good. It wasn’t sore at all in the game,” Bradley said. “I felt I was moving good. After the game I was a little sore and this morning, but otherwise I felt good.”

Despite Boston being 4-1 this season when Bradley doesn’t play, he has immense value to this Celtics team at both ends of the floor.

Offensively he has been Boston’s second-leading scorer most of this season and currently averages a career-high 17.7 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds which is also a career high.

And defensively, Bradley is coming off a season in which he was named to the NBA’s all-Defensive First Team for the first time.

Any questions or concerns about the Achilles affecting his play defensively were put to rest Monday night when he put the defensive clamps on Nicolas Batum who missed nine of his 11 shots from the field while primarily being guarded by Bradley.

Now his offense, that’s another story.

Bradley failed to reach double digits scoring for the first time this season as he missed seven of his nine shots on Monday to finish with just five points.

But part of that had to do with Bradley passing up shots he normally takes, as well as him missing some he normally knocks down.

Considering his lay-off and the rhythm his teammates have been in shooting the ball in his absence, Bradley wisely decided to get his defensive bearings on track and gradually bring his offensive game around. 

“I have to get my (shooting) rhythm back,” said Bradley who is making a career-best 40.9 percent of his 3-pointers this season. “I’m fine. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game.”