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Shaq out “indefinitely” for Boston

Apr 16, 2011, 2:03 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

One of the keys to Boston being in this in June — one of the reasons that Kendrick Perkins could be traded — was that Shaquille O’Neal could do the job in the middle.

The Celtics will not have Shaq for game one against New York and maybe longer, Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge told the media Saturday. Here’s the word from our man A. Sherrod Blakely at CSN New England.

Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, made the announcement this afternoon with team physician, Dr. Brian McKeon.

“He has been making progress,” Ainge said. “We tried to get him out there to practice today, simulate the game as much as we could. He’s not ready. We don’t know when he’ll be ready.”

McKeon said the trial O’Neal was involved in consisted of him running, a test McKeon acknowledged O’Neal had failed.

“It didn’t work,” McKeon said. “It’s just too sore. We’re going to spend another … get back to tomorrow and hopefully we’ll get him back soon.”


They tried to have him run and shut him down due to calf and Achilles issues. Those are what have kept him off the court for all but five minutes since Feb. 1.

No Shaq makes beating Knicks more difficult — you’d like to be able to pound them inside — but if Boston’s defense is focused and Rajon Rondo gets back in his groove they should still win (the Knicks have a puncher’s chance).

To get that offense back in a groove, Rivers said he is dumbing the offense back down to the basics, as reported at

“I’m cutting out literally half of our offensive playbook,” Rivers told the media after Friday’s lengthy practice, which lasted about two and a half hours. “I made a choice: I’d rather run a couple things well than a lot of things average or poor.”

Less than a week ago, when the Celtics were in Miami being trounced by the Heat, Rivers was picked up by ABC’s microphones telling his team, to paraphrase, “Keep it simple. Keep the game simple.” When he didn’t see his players return to that level of simplicity, he decided to make the decision for them.

There may be no more entertaining series than Boston and New York, which gets underway Sunday night in Beantown.

  1. zackd2 - Apr 16, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Didn’t see this coming at all

  2. denverhoopdreams - Apr 16, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Really, you think that this series will be entertaining? We got a bunch of wash ups, and a bunch of egotistical offensive minded freaks playing each other. Seems like a wash to me.

    • andyhr17 - Apr 17, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      Hilarious that you call a team that went 56-26 a group of “wash ups”. That would make the Chicago Bulls a team 6 games better than being washed up? Might want to re-evaluate thing here.

      • denverhoopdreams - Apr 19, 2011 at 7:28 PM

        Looks like way too many people took me way too serious. hahaha

  3. purdueman - Apr 16, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    How about this, Laker fans? Would it be something if Bynum, Artest and/or Kobe suddenly break out in chicken pox?!!! It certainly wouldn’t be funny for the players affected, but it would be funny to watch Laker Homers grip!!!
    Doc: Chicken pox could be ‘disaster’ for Lakers
    April 16th, 2011, 6:40 am · posted by Landon Hall

    Chummy: Kobe Bryant and Steve Blake talk during a game in December. Blake was diagnosed with chicken pox Tuesday.
    Dr. Michael Cater is not only a pediatrician, he’s a huge Lakers fan going all the way back to Jerry West’s rookie season in 1960-61. So he might be a little melodramatic when it comes to the defending champs’ sudden chicken-pox problem.
    But he’s not kidding when he says the Lakers might be in some peril because of backup point guard Steve Blake having contracted the disease. Teammates Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest never had chicken pox as children.
    “This could be a disaster for the Lakers,” Cater said.
    The Lakers, who open the first round of the playoffs Sunday at home against the New Orleans Hornets (read Kevin Ding’s preview), found out Tuesday that Blake had been diagnosed with chicken pox. Symptoms include red, dot-shaped lesions that can be merely itchy for children but downright painful for adults like Blake, who’s 31. Blake had a fever Monday but still sat in on a team video session, The Los Angeles Times reported.
    Chicken pox (also known as the varicella-zoster virus) is extremely contagious, and it can be spread by touch or through the air, says Dr. Terence Chu, a Lake Forest pediatrician with Southern Orange County Pediatric Associates. People who have it are contagious for a day or two before they show symptoms, and the signature rash may not appear until 2-3 weeks after infection.
    So it’s entirely possible that another Laker could come down with chicken pox in the deeper rounds of the playoffs, harming the team’s chances for a three-peat.

    • hoopsfanatic - Apr 16, 2011 at 4:06 PM


      This is like a story from the National Enquirer about UFO/ alien consipiracies. Look, I understand Steve Blake has chicken pox, and chicken pox is contagious. But why don’t we wait and see what actually happens before posting some wild “theory” about what might happen. We can all play the “what if” game all day long. Personally, I find those discussions boring, and pointless.

    • purdueman - Apr 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

      It’s not MY story. You can find the entire article at: If it’s been taken off the front page by now, then click on the sports tab.

      • hoopsfanatic - Apr 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM


        My point had nothing to do with your source. My point was that this is a nonstory, and ranks up right there with National Enquirer stories on UFO/ alien consipiracies. Until something actually happens, this is simply a continuation of the “what if” game. Again, those discussions are boring, and pointless.

    • philtration - Apr 17, 2011 at 1:06 AM

      And I want to see Kobe Bryant’s birth certificate.
      Sound like he was born in Japan to me.

      Get a grip already.

    • davidly - Apr 17, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      That’d be alright, Boilerdude. If it really is so pernicious and turns out to have spread, then it’s gonna nab Portland, Ok City, and San Anton, as well. LA could beat Dallas with a mere, “Boo!” and by the time they got to the finals they’d have the full team back, well and rested.

  4. BlackSuperman543259 - Apr 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Ain’t no way in hell NY gonna beat Boston anyway. Boston is just too good.

    • zackd2 - Apr 16, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      Is that you Danny Ainge?

  5. SmackSaw - Apr 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    The Big Leprechaun is done. It was stupid for Ainge to trade Perkins. All the Knicks have to do is outrun them. D’Antoni has them right where he wants them.

    • borderline1988 - Apr 17, 2011 at 3:02 AM

      Let me get this straight.
      You’re saying that now that Shaq is out, the Knicks can outrun the Celtics?

      I hate the Celtics, but they’re way too good for NY to even win 2 games. They will have trouble with the Heat though in the 2nd round.

  6. sportsphilly1 - Apr 16, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    Who cares! Two boring squads

  7. yankeesjetsknicksrangers - Apr 16, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    I’m sure this is no surprise for Boston, they’re with this guy everyday and must know that despite his current injuries he is in no condition to play quality minutes and weren’t counting on him.

    I hope our 3 game is on tomorrow.

    Go NY……. GO NY………. GO

  8. 1historian - Apr 16, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    Ainge knew the risk when he made the trade and right now it looks as if the
    Celtics are toast even before the 1st game against the nix. If they can get past the nix maybe Shaq will have enuff time to heal but it doesn’t look good.

  9. thetooloftools - Apr 16, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Get well big man… heal up and kick ass.
    Take a piece of LeBron out for me… a few teeth would be a nice start.

  10. davidly - Apr 17, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    I think somebody in Boston got blinded by Shaq’s career high FG percentage this season at 9 ppg in a mere twenty minutes and thought, “My god, this guy is gonna be a monster in the playoffs!”

    I suppose they should’ve considered that the 39-year-old has appeared in an average of 45 games per season the last five years; and that for four different teams.

    Luck of the Irish is one thing, but y’might wanna stick with the guy who’s been coming to work rather than the one who show up one day and makes a crap load of widgets.

    • zackd2 - Apr 17, 2011 at 4:02 PM

      It’s ok, they have insurance in JO………

      • andyhr17 - Apr 17, 2011 at 10:02 PM

        You’re right. JO had an impressive game tonight. Your smart ass comment ended up being quite the prediction.

  11. avermaver - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    I love how Shaq actually got 20 million last year to score 12 points per game and grab 6.7 rebounds, kudos to him for maximizing his career earnings, oh and winning the 3 championships and all that

  12. jimeejohnson - Apr 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    He only got the paltry veterans minimum of $1 million this year. That’s chump change for Shaq, but he is one big cheerleader that other teams’ cheerleaders fear!

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