Apr 1, 2011, 3:20 PM EDT
When the Boston Celtics take the floor in Atlanta Friday night, Jermiane O’Neal will be the starting center.
But he has been off with knee surgery since January, now playing on the second night of a back-to-back. He can’t be counted on for big minutes. So who follows him?
That’s not a lot. But the fact they are calling it a “leg injury” and not saying anything about the severity suggests exactly what went through all our minds when we saw it happen — this is going to be bad. Which would be bad for Boston.
Shaquille O’Neal may be back this weekend, or soon. Boston is going to need him. They are likely to get New York or Philadelphia in the first round, two teams that could push Boston (the Sixers are the scariest lower seed in the East). Then the second round would be Miami, where exploiting the Heat in the paint will be a key to winning the series. Boston needs healthy big men to do that.
And right now they have one less.
- Hawks cruise to underwhelming Game 1 win over Nets 3
- Kyrie Irving aces, Kevin Love passes first playoff test in Cavaliers win over Celtics 15
- James Harden and Dwight Howard show Mavericks what they’re missing in Rockets’ Game 1 win 10
- Derrick Rose looks like his old self as Bulls beat Bucks in Game 1 19
- Warriors strong enough to outlast Anthony Davis and Pelicans in Game 1 7
- Paul Pierce leads Wizards to overtime Game 1 win over Raptors 6
- Q&A: Corey Brewer on trade from Timberwolves, his 51-point game, Harden’s MVP case, Rockets vs. Mavericks 3
- PBT First Round Playoff Previews: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs 10