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Celtic defector Tom Thibodeau reflects on the Shaq signing

Aug 7, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

Thibodeau.jpgTom Thibodeau will always have a special place in the Celtic lore. While he may not have been the physical manifestation of the Boston’s remarkable Championship-level defense or knocked down clutch shots, he was as much a part of the C’s 2007 title formula as anyone. As the architect of the team D that reintroduced the Celtics to greatness, Thibs has firmly established himself among a select group in “never-have-to-buy-your-own-drink-in-Boston-again…y’know-if-people-actually-knew-what-assistant-coaches-looked-like” territory. Ya dig?

So the fact that Thibodeau is the current head coach of the Chicago Bulls doesn’t preclude him from weighing in on all things Celtics. He’s still a valued perspective among the Boston faithful, and he has enough of both a basketball and Celtic pedigree that when he speaks, the fans listen.

The floor is Thibodeau’s, from a spot on ESPN Radio via Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston, and the topic of conversation? Shaquille O’Neal: 

“It’s an interesting move,” said Thibodeau. “It’s a calculated risk. I
think there are things he brings to the table. I think the big thing is
with [Kendrick] Perkins being out until January, and you never know how
long it will take when he does come back, Perkins is a very underrated
player. I think he’s a huge key to the team defense. So I think what
they’re doing is trying to protect themselves until Kendrick can come

“Shaq is a guy you can throw the ball to. He can still get a pretty
good shot up. His size is a factor. You start looking at their length
up front now. They added a couple 7-footers with Jermaine O’Neal. He really had a terrific season last season with Miami, so they added
some shot-blocking there. I think part of it is trying to hold the fort
until Kendrick can come back, but when he does come back, you’re going
to have three guys at the center position, so that could be tough.
I think he does add some things to their team.”

  1. RC - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Tom’s remark’s are on the safe side. the fact is that Shaq can make a difference if he gets in shape, plays defense and commits himself to really helping. 37 is not old. I’d really like to see him show that the celtics know what they are doing.
    I think the Celtics are going to be a force to reckon with.

  2. Salty - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    The Celtics are known for they’re defense.Being a Laker fan I can attest to the fact that Shrek is a succer for the pic and roll.Even when he was young he was to slow for the pick and roll.
    The other thing is the Celtics will be dealing with a very large child who is always upset when he does’nt get his own way.

  3. JoeSixPack - Aug 7, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    Both Salty and RC are correct. Shaq’s filling in for Perkins for the regular season, and if O’Neal can be nearly as productive as he was last year he helps the team through the regular season. Save Perkins for the playoffs when you won’t be wanting to depend on either of the Irish Twins (Jermaine and Shaquille).
    Yet in as much as there are aspects both Shaquille and Jermaine’s games they also bring interesting liabilities. How Doc uses both of them along with Glen Davis will be very interesting to watch.
    Davis may wind up seeing as many minutes as anyone – out of Jermaine and Shaq he may be the only one who can run the pick and role that the Celts use on offense so much too.
    The bottom line, for the veteran minimum the Celts picked up a player bringing numbers that other teams have paid $6 million for – and Ainge has done as good a job as anyone could covering up the loss of Perkins in the regular season while giving the team added depth in the middle in the playoffs.
    Let’s put it this way. Forget everything else – if the Celts had Shaq to fill in for Perkins from Game 6 and 7 the Green would be hanging Banner #18

  4. pungadoo - Aug 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    I think Shaq brings alot of needed offense of the bench.Mintues will not be a problem when perk comes back.Depending on the team I think shaq may get more minutes then Jermaine against the lakers.Bynum nor Gasol can guard shaq.Jermaine and Shaq are defferent players so you get something differnt with both.Its realy simple you play shaq against bigger guys like bynum and you play jermaine against smaller guys like amare.They can run with jermaine or slow the game down and bang with shaq.Adding shaq just gives the Celtics another huge weapon.At times the celtics offense could go cold they will not have the problem with shaq coming in with the second unit.

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