Shaq will play tonight vs. Detroit

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Shaq will play tonight vs. Detroit

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

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 CSNNE.com 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 sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

NBA officiating: Smart foul that cost C's potential win was wrong call

NBA officiating: Smart foul that cost C's potential win was wrong call

Were it not for a Marcus Smart personal foul with under 12 seconds to play, the Celtics might have won Saturday’s game against the Trail Blazers in regulation. Instead, they lost in overtime, but it turns out they should have at least had a shot at the regulation win. 

The game's Last Two Minute Report released by NBA officiating, which assesses all calls made in the final two minutes of play, labels the Smart foul “IC,” or “incorrect call.”

Smart was called for a personal foul on a play in which he stole the ball from Damian Lillard under the net and scored. Had the foul not been called, Boston would have held a 112-111 lead with 10.8 seconds remaining. 

The report states the following: The replay shown on the DF BCAST shows Smart (BOS) makes clean contact with the ball.

Portland went on to outscore Boston, 14-10, in overtime to earn a 127-123 win at TD Garden.