OFFSEASON

No knee surgery for Jermaine O'Neal

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No knee surgery for Jermaine O'Neal

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON The decision has been made.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, confirmed an earlier report from Comcast SportsNet's Greg Dickerson that Jermaine O'Neal will not have surgery on his left knee.

Instead, the C's will shut O'Neal down for the next four weeks, and then look to bring him back in the fold.

Ainge, O'Neal and the C's medical staff discussed all the different options at halftime of Boston's 86-82 win over Detroit.

"The surgery he was considering, was just a cleaning out," Ainge said. "There's no ligament or cartilage damage that was going to be repaired. It was a cleaning-out process. We decided against that."

Had they opted for the surgery, Ainge said O'Neal would have been looking at being out for about two months.

Even after four weeks of rest, that doesn't necessarily mean O'Neal immediately returns to the Celtics playing rotation.

Kendrick Perkins will be back in the rotation by then.

If Shaquille O'Neal stays healthy, there is a chance that Jermaine O'Neal can return to a Celtics squad that, in many ways, has moved on without him.

Still, the Celtics have proven all season that there really is no such thing as having too many big men.

The Celtics still don't know how much they'll get out of Perkins when he returns. Shaquille O'Neal, who had his first double-double with the Celtics on Wednesday with 12 points and 12 rebounds, has had his share of bumps and bruises, which is what you expect from the oldest player in the NBA. Even the C's young bigs, like rookie Semih Erden, has been hit with the injury bug.

"We're going to need all these guys to get through the year and the playoffs," Ainge said.

When Jermaine O'Neal does return, Ainge added that he will not have a minutes restriction.

His conditioning, maybe more than anything else, will dictate how much he can play.

"When you're out with a bad knee, it's tough to condition basketball-wise," Ainge said. "He was on the treadmill, the non-bearing weight treadmills and in the swimming pool and a lot of things like that. Jermaine has a plan to get himself in great shape and build the strength up so he can withstand the rigors of playing the last couple months of basketball."

O'Neal went to New York to get a second opinion.

But before that, it appeared as though he was leaning toward not having the surgery and instead, going with the plan that he and the Celtics agreed to on Wednesday.

"It's almost a shock to the system," O'Neal said. "There is a chance that you may not come back. There's a chance that it might not go as well as you want it to go. A lot of different things can happen when you go through surgery. At the end of the day, you have to live with the decision you make. To me, it's all about playing. I just want to play; I just want to help."

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

OFFSEASON

Who will make the Celtics roster?

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Who will make the Celtics roster?

BOSTON – Regardless of what the Celtics do in the offseason, there will always be position battles in training camp.

But when the players arrive in a few weeks, a handful will have more at stake than just a roster spot.

Boston currently has 18 players with full or partially guaranteed contracts, a number that has to be pared down to 15 or less by the time the regular season begins.

The math is pretty cut and dry. Barring a trade, at least three players have to be let go.

But who will they be?

That’s for Brad Stevens and the rest of the Celtics brass to figure out.

In the meantime, here’s a look at five Celtics who, barring a trade, are likely to be among the pool of players Boston will be picking from for what should be the last couple of roster spots.

OFFSEASON

Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

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Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

New England fans will get their first glimpse at the 2016-2017 Boston Celtics when they kick off their preseason schedule on October 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers at UMass-Amherst’s Mullins Center.

That game will feature two of the top three picks in last month’s draft as Ben Simmons, the top overall pick, will face Jaylen Brown, who was drafted by the Celtics with the third overall pick.

Boston’s 7-game schedule features no back-to-back games, but they do face the Charlotte Hornets in their second and third preseason games on Oct. 6 (in Greensboro, N.C.) and Oct. 8 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Here’s a look at Boston’s full preseason schedule:

DATE               OPPONENT                  LOCATION                                                        TIME
Oct. 4               Philadelphia 76ers         UMass-Amherst Mullins Center (Amherst, MA)     7:00 p.m. ET
Oct. 6               Charlotte Hornets          Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 8               Charlotte Hornets          Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT)                  3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 13             Brooklyn Nets               Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)                          7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 15             New York Knicks           Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 17             Brooklyn Nets               TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 19             New York Knicks           TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET