Shaq will play tonight vs. Detroit


Shaq will play tonight vs. Detroit

By A. Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON Shaquille O'Neal made his way into the TD Garden this afternoon, looking fit as ever.

Fit enough to play?

We'll find out soon enough with O'Neal ready to make his return to the Celtics lineup tonight against the Detroit Pistons.

Earlier today, Celtics coach Doc Rivers told that O'Neal would "probably" play, but added that he would only play limited minutes.

"If he does, it will only be for five, maybe 10 minutes," Rivers said at the time.

Moments ago, Rivers confirmed that O'Neal would play and that he would not only limit his minutes, but also limit the number of games he plays in between now and the playoffs.

"I'm telling you now, I'm not going to play him every night," Rivers told a group of reporters. "I'm going to play him three or four games, and that'll be it. We'll get ready for the playoffs."

O'Neal, out with what's being described as a right leg injury, would provide some much-needed depth for the C's at the center position.

The Celtics recently got Jermaine O'Neal back following surgery ln his left knee. But on the same night of his return, the C's lost Nenad Krstic to a right knee injury.

The Celtics were concerned that Krstic suffered torn ligaments in the knee. But an MRI revealed that he had a bone bruise and his status is now day-to-day.

Although Krstic's exact return remains up in the air, Rivers said there's a chance that Krstic is back in the lineup Tuesday against Philadelphia.

As for O'Neal, his return can not come soon enough for the Celtics.

One of the reasons the C's traded away Kendrick Perkins in February was because they felt that S. O'Neal would give them the inside presence they needed to finish out this season strong, and adequately prepare them for the playoffs.

However, his injuries - he has had right foot, calf and Achilles Tendon issues - have taken longer to heal than initially thought.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Chicago Bulls sign former Boston Celtics guard R.J. Hunter


Chicago Bulls sign former Boston Celtics guard R.J. Hunter

Minutes before they opened their regular season Thursday against the Celtics, the Bulls announced the signing of shooting guard R.J. Hunter.

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Halftime stars, studs and duds: Chippy first half between Celtics-Bulls


Halftime stars, studs and duds: Chippy first half between Celtics-Bulls

Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder are former teammates at Marquette. Isaiah Thomas and Rajon Rondo have tremendous respect for one another as competitors.

But in the heat of battle, friendships and respect can at times fall by the wayside which is exactly what happened in the first half between these two Eastern Conference foes.

After a chippy first half, the Bulls went into the half ahead 57-49.

The last couple of minutes in the second quarter were much closer than the halftime score would indicate.

Butler drained a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer sounded that nearly doubled Chicago’s halftime lead.

His shot brought a conclusion to a first half which included four technical being called on one play in which Crowder was whistled for an offensive foul.

On that play, Butler seemed to tie up Crowder’s legs with both players on the floor. Crowder then seemed to forcefully put the ball in Butler’s chest. That led to some back-and-forth smack talk between Thomas and Rondo.

All four players were whistled for technical fouls.

Chicago opened the game with an 8-2 run and led by as many as 15 points.

As the Celtics soon discovered, finding open spots on the floor against the Bulls was much, much tougher than it was 24 hours earlier against the Nets.

Chicago continued to play with control and led by double digits throughout the second quarter.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s Boston-Chicago game.



Dwyane Wade

The prodigal son looked good in his first game playing in front of lots of family and friends. He led all scorers with 14 points which included 3-for-4 from 3-point range.

Avery Bradley

The Celtics seemed to have found their stride in the second quarter with Bradley leading the charge. He led all Boston players with 12 points at the half.

Jimmy Butler

The face of the Bulls franchise got off to a slow start, but soon picked up his play at both ends of the floor in the second quarter. He had 11 points at the half along with grabbing five rebounds.



Taj Gibson

He was a problem for the Boston Celtics right from the start, providing the kind of low-post scoring the Bulls will be looking for in the second half. At the half, Gibson had eight points and six rebounds.

Rajon Rondo

The former Boston Celtic was doing what he has done well for most of his career – getting others involved. At the half Rondo had three points and a game-high six assists with four rebounds.

Isaiah Thomas

Boston needed him to be more of a scorer than a facilitator on Thursday, and Thomas was more than willing to oblige. He had 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting.



Celtics 3-point defense

The Bulls got one good look after another from 3-point range, with the Celtics showing few signs of making the necessary adjustments. The Bulls connected on 53.8 percent of their 3-pointers (7-for-13) in the first half.