OFFSEASON

Shaq injury 'not that bad'; Krstic close

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Shaq injury 'not that bad'; Krstic close

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM One of the more popular halftime acts in the NBA is a husband-and-wife tandem better known as Quick Change.

They appear in outfits that literally change, quickly -- hence the name, Quick Change -- before your eyes.

We're seeing a little bit of that these days when it comes to Shaquille O'Neal and the return date for his injuries.

The latest ailment O'Neal is dealing with is a strained right calf suffered in the second quarter of Boston's 101-90 win over Detroit on Sunday.

Coach Doc Rivers reiterated on Monday that O'Neal's latest injury is "not that bad, not that severe."

"He will not probably play the rest of this week," said Rivers, who had a Quick Change moment of his own, and added, "table that. He might play at the end of this week. We're just not sure yet."

Figuring out what to do with O'Neal, healthy or not at this point, is a delicate matter for the Celtics.

While there's certainly some merit in getting him on the floor in spot-duty now to help better prepare him for the playoffs, they run the risk of having a repeat of Sunday night's game, in which O'Neal suffered a right calf strain after playing less than six minutes.

Although Rivers says there's a chance that Shaq may play against Washington on Friday, the Celtics haven't ruled out shutting him down until the playoffs, either.

"If that's what it requires," Rivers said. "We're going to do whatever they doctors tell us is required. Other than that, I would love to play him a couple games."

Even before the injury, Rivers made it clear that O'Neal would not play in all of the C's remaining regular-season games.

The same restrictions are not likely to apply to Nenad Krstic.

Krstic suffered a bone bruise in his right knee in last week's win at San Antonio, an injury that the Celtics initially feared would be worst than it turned out.

An MRI revealed the bone bruise, which has kept the 7-foot center out of Boston's last two games.

However, he was able to practice with the team on Monday and is optimistic that he'll play Tuesday against Philadelphia.

Following Monday's practice, he said the knee was still sore but "it's fine."

When the injury first happened, Krstic admitted he was a bit nervous because it reminded him of when he suffered a torn ACL in 2007 with the New Jersey Nets, an injury that kept him out for the remainder of the season.

But after the initial pain wore off, Krstic was optimistic about coming back soon even before he knew the MRI results.

"I knew right away it wasn't as serious as it was in New Jersey," he said. "I was upset."

But the pain was soon replaced by stiffness -- stiffness that Krstic said is nearly gone.

"I'm fine now," he said.

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