Rivers: Shaq doubtful for Game 5


Rivers: Shaq doubtful for Game 5

By A. Sherrod Blakely

MIAMI So much for that lift the Boston Celtics were supposed to get from Shaquille O'Neal off the bench.

Coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday morning that the 7-foot-1 center re-aggravated his right Achillescalf injury in Game 4 and is doubtful to play in tonight's pivotal Game 5.

Boston trails 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, and will be eliminated if the Heat win.

O'Neal played less than four minutes - all in the first half - of Boston's 98-90 overtime loss to the Heat.

"That little stretch in the first half, it just got worse," Rivers said.

Rivers added, "It's nothing he can do. It's not like he isn't trying. He's done everything you can possibly do to get healthy. Unfortunately for him, he just hasn't been able to do it."

O'Neal first began missing games because of the injury back in December.

At first, the C's didn't think it was that big a deal, with him expected to only miss a handful of games.

After sitting out four games with a calf injury in December, O'Neal returned to play in 17 straight before re-aggravating the injury against Utah on Jan. 21.

From there, O'Neal missed three games, returned to play in three straight, and once again, the right calfAchilles bothered him to the point where he could not play.

Concerned that his injury might linger into the postseason, the Celtics opted to shut him down for the next 27 games.

His return on April 3 against Detroit was a short-lived one, as O'Neal once again re-aggravated the right leg injuries after logging about five minutes of action.

He played sparingly in Games 3 and 4 against Miami, but had little to no impact on the outcome of either game.

"It just never healed, and still hasn't," Rivers said. "Every time he plays now, it gets worse. There's nothing you can do about it."

As the oldest player in the NBA this season, it stands to reason that O'Neal may very well never play in the NBA again.

He signed a two-year deal with the Celtics last fall, with an option to come back for a second season.

The way his body has broken down this season, the choice may have already been made for him.

"It's too early to talk about it now," Rivers said. "I've learned personally you never make any decisions during the heat of battle. You're always gong to make the wrong choice. I think he'll walk away for the summer, and decide what he wants to do. I just know this has been emotionally draining to him, more than you guys would know. He feels awful about this. This is why he came here, to get to the playoffs. And not being able to do that, has really hurt him."

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

Celtics waive Kelly


Celtics waive Kelly

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.

Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener


Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener

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.