When the curtain was parted at Madison Square Garden a large familiar face was on the court. Shaquille O’Neal  was dressed in workout clothes with the rest of the Celtics . He won’t play in Game 3 Friday night and he’s doubtful for Game 4, but his presence was an indication that he is getting closer to returning to the lineup.
“He’s not ready to play yet,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers  said. “But the fact that he’s feeling better and he’s getting closer, you just bring him on the road.”
Shaq talked briefly as he made his way off the court saying he’s “just trying to get back.”
Rivers maintains that the team isn’t holding him back for any other reason than he’s just not ready to play yet. “I’m worried about getting him right and healthy,” Rivers said. “There’s no strategic gameplan for not playing him. There’s a medical gameplan for not playing him. Once he can play he can play.”
Asked if the Shaq situation was becoming a distraction, Rivers said, “Our guys don’t care.”
As for the other O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal  injured his left wrist in Game 2 when he fell awkwardly after taking a charge. He wore a brace for the last two days to prevent any further damage, but said that the swelling had gone down and that he would probably play without the brace Friday night.