OFFSEASON

Rivers: Shaq out today vs. Magic, maybe longer

Rivers: Shaq out today vs. Magic, maybe longer

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON The Big Shamrock remains on the big chill for the Boston Celtics.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers confirmed to CSNNE.com that Shaquille O'Neal will not play today against the Orlando Magic due to a right Achilles injury.

He later elaborated on O'Neal's status, telling a group of reporters that O'Neal might be shut down until after the all-star break.

While it's not considered a long-term injury, there's no definitive indication as to when the 7-foot-1 center will return to the lineup.

"When you're 38 years old, every day, you're day-to-day," Rivers said.

"His Achilles is inflamed," Rivers said. "If this were a playoff game, Shaq would play, let's be honest. But it's not. We're going to need him in the playoffs and we want him to be right and healthy. This gives him a chance to get right all the other things that are ailing him."

In addition to the Achilles injury, O'Neal has missed four other games recently with a series of right leg-related injuries.

Without O'Neal, the Celtics will start Kendrick Perkins at center.

Making his first start of the season against Dallas on Friday, Perkins had a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.

There is a slim chance that O'Neal and the medical staff could convince Rivers to have a last-minute change of heart, similar to what happened earlier this season involving Rajon Rondo.

However, the return of Perkins gives the C's added depth to fill the void left by not having O'Neal available.

Rivers admits he has been surprised at the durability Perkins has shown just six games into the season following offseason surgery to repair a torn MCL and PCL suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last June.

"I didn't expect this," Rivers admitted, adding that Perkins has had some strong games and others where he hasn't been as effective. "I think that'll last until almost the playoffs. He'll be up and down. He'll have days where, he'll have tough-moving days. We expect that."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@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