Shaqisms of the game: Talking statues, minutes, and Randy Moss


Shaqisms of the game: Talking statues, minutes, and Randy Moss

By Jessica Camerato

BOSTON -- With a larger-than-life personality, Shaquille O'Neal has plenty to say about the latest issues both on and off the court. Here is a recap of the Shaqisms from Sunday's victory against the Raptors.

Monitoring Minutes: The Celtics need O'Neal for the long haul, so they're keeping a close eye on him during the preseason. O'Neal sat out of Saturday's practice, bothered by his hips, and Doc Rivers plans to keep him out of one of the remaining preseason games. O'Neal explained he isn't focused on his playing time and will do whatever it takes to help the Celtics.

"My hip is good. I've got a little arthritis. A lot of pounding, but we've got a great staff here and I'm getting a lot of rest . . . I'll be fine," he said, adding, "I'm here as a team player, so if Doc needs me to play big minutes, little minutes, I'm here and I won't complain. I'm just here to try to help the Celtics get number 18 and help myself get number five."

The Statue Plan: O'Neal created a frenzy when he announced last week that he plans to pose as a statue in Harvard Square. He explained the guidelines for the plan, which he based off an actual statue of a man sitting in a chair in the historic area.

"Last time when I showed up, people wanted to take pictures, they wanted to have conversations," he said. "I'm going to show up when we get off the road and I'm just going to sit there. The rules are, you come, take one picture, and then you've got to move on to the next person. Do not have a conversation with me. I don't really want to hear stories this time. We'll do that some other time. But I'm just going to sit for an hour and I'm just going to try to sit in one position for an hour. It'll be somewhere in Harvard Square, one of those benches over there."

Shaq in Shock Over Moss: O'Neal had been looking forward to seeing Randy Moss play when he came to Boston, and he was stunned to learn the wide receiver had been traded from the New England Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings.

"I was shocked. I really was shocked," O'Neal said. "But he's a great player and he's the type that once you touch him up a little bit, he's going to respond. So I'll look for him to really, really start playing. I want to go with Minnesota as a team to be reckoned with now. The Patriots are still going to be pretty good, but I think Minnesota now that you've got a pissed-off Randy Moss, it's going to be trouble. A pissed-off Randy Moss and a pissed-off Brett Favre. Look out."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcamerato.

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

WALTHAM, Mass. – As the final horn blew in Boston’s 108-98 win over Charlotte on Monday night, the game was a win-win kind of night for Avery Bradley.

The Celtics (26-15) continue rolling over opponents at the TD Garden, and he played a relatively pain-free 33 minutes in the win.

It was Bradley’s first game back after missing the previous four with a strained right Achilles injury.

And the fact that he was back on the practice floor on Tuesday (be it a light practice, mind you), bodes well for his injury being a thing of the past now.

“I felt good. It wasn’t sore at all in the game,” Bradley said. “I felt I was moving good. After the game I was a little sore and this morning, but otherwise I felt good.”

Despite Boston being 4-1 this season when Bradley doesn’t play, he has immense value to this Celtics team at both ends of the floor.

Offensively he has been Boston’s second-leading scorer most of this season and currently averages a career-high 17.7 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds which is also a career high.

And defensively, Bradley is coming off a season in which he was named to the NBA’s all-Defensive First Team for the first time.

Any questions or concerns about the Achilles affecting his play defensively were put to rest Monday night when he put the defensive clamps on Nicolas Batum who missed nine of his 11 shots from the field while primarily being guarded by Bradley.

Now his offense, that’s another story.

Bradley failed to reach double digits scoring for the first time this season as he missed seven of his nine shots on Monday to finish with just five points.

But part of that had to do with Bradley passing up shots he normally takes, as well as him missing some he normally knocks down.

Considering his lay-off and the rhythm his teammates have been in shooting the ball in his absence, Bradley wisely decided to get his defensive bearings on track and gradually bring his offensive game around. 

“I have to get my (shooting) rhythm back,” said Bradley who is making a career-best 40.9 percent of his 3-pointers this season. “I’m fine. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game.”