OFFSEASON

Shaq to miss Game 1, 'very close' to return

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Shaq to miss Game 1, 'very close' to return

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

MIAMI Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that Shaquille O'Neal is still in "suit and tie" status, but the end of his inactive days appear to be nearly over.

Really.

No, really.

For the first time since he re-aggravated the right calfAchilles injury against Detroit on April 3, Rivers actually has a definitive drop-dead date for O'Neal to suit up for the C's.

"He's getting very close," Rivers said. "We actually had to make a decision (on whether he would play) today. So that's better than what we've had to do in the past."

Rivers added that O'Neal may play in Game 2 on Tuesday, and "for sure in Game 3."

While there's no telling how much the Celtics would get from O'Neal once he returns to action, there's no question that his presence will have an impact on how the Heat defend the C's.

Miami center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who will likely spend some time guarding O'Neal when he does return to the Celtics lineup, knows that O'Neal will cause problems even if he's in a limited capacity.

"He's a handful," Ilgauskas told CSNNE.com. "Really good player, smart player. Eats up a lot of space. I'm sure he'll play. It won't be easy, but we'll be ready."

And in other Celtics-related news, Rivers decided to have former Heat guard Carlos Arroyo on the active roster. Replacing him on the inactive list will be Sasha Pavlovic.

"He knows this team," Rivers said of Arroyo. "He was in their training camp. He was in their practices. He knows their personnel. So I just thought he may be able to help us in some way."

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