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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Less than 24 hours after signing Ryan Kelly, the Celtics waived the power forward.
This is the second time Kelly was put on waivers in the past week, which is how Boston initially acquired him from the Hawks.
Now the door is open for Kelly to sign with Boston's D-League team, the Maine Red Claws, which was the initial expectation when the Celtics acquired him.
BOSTON – Marcus Smart’s sprained left ankle injury continues to heal, but the Celtics remain in wait-and-see mode when it comes to his availability for the season opener on Wednesday against Brooklyn.
Smart sprained the ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holliday.
He was helped off the floor by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas along with head trainer Ed Lacerte.
Since the injury, the Celtics have been pleased with the healing progress of the ankle, the same ankle he sprained as a rookie which kept him out for several weeks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart is no longer in a walking boot and continues to be day-to-day as he receives a steady diet of treatments to help speed up the healing process.
Smart will undergo a series of tests to determine the ankle’s strength, prior to getting any kind of clearance to play.
That’s why Stevens isn’t worried about Smart returning to the floor too soon.
“I trust our staff. Our staff and Marcus will make that decision well,” Stevens said. “Then I play guys, if they are available.”
Smart has established himself as one of the Celtics’ top reserves, with the ability to play both guard positions and some small forward depending on the lineup on the floor. The Celtics have to prepare for the possibility that he will not be able to play in the opener (or the first few games considering Boston opens with three games in four nights.
His absence would create more playing time for Terry Rozier in addition to likely resulting in extended minutes for starters such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
As eager as Smart is to get back on the floor, he and the Celtics are mindful of the big picture.
This team wants to make a deep playoff run and they’ll everyone – Smart included – to do so.
That’s why as much as Smart wants to get on the floor immediately, he has to remember – or be reminded of – that this is an 82-game season and his long-term value to this team and its goals can’t be taken for granted.