|Shaquille O’Neal doubtful for Game 5||05.11.11 at 11:29 am ET|
MIAMI — Shaquille O’Neal is doubtful for Game 5, and even that may be too generous of a classification. Shaq didn’t play in the second half or overtime of Game 4 against the Heat, and it wasn’t a coaching decision by Doc Rivers. It was strictly health-related.
“It was physical,” Rivers said at the team’s shootaround prior to Game 5. “Don’t know yet today. I will say I doubt it. That little stretch of the game it got worse.”
Rivers said that Shaq’s condition worsened in the four minutes he played in Game 4 and it doesn’t sound like he will be able to play no matter what happens in Game 5 or beyond.
“It’s nothing he can do. It’s not like he’s not trying,” Rivers said. “He’s done everything you possibly can do to get healthy. Unfortunately for him, he just hasn’t been able to do it. When he originally got injured no one thought it was that serious. It just never healed and it still hasn’t, and now every time he plays it gets worse.”
Rivers was asked whether this could be the end for O’Neal, who has a player to option to return next season.
“I think it’s too early to talk about it,” Rivers said. “I’ve learned personally you never try to make any decision during the heat of the battle. Emotionally you’re always going to make the wrong choice, so I think he’ll walk away from it this summer and then decide what he’s going to do. I just know this has been emotionally draining to him, more than you guys would know. He feels awful about this because this is why he came here, to get to the playoffs. Not being able to do that has really hurt him.
Rivers does expect Rajon Rondo to play with his dislocated left elbow, but he’s going into the game with the same wait-and-see approach that he had in Game 4. “I don’t know how much better he’s going to be, he is what he is,” Rivers said. “He’s a little better, I would guess.”
|An apology from LeBron James about the ‘R’ word||05.10.11 at 12:29 am ET|
Before talking about his clutch 3-pointer that tied the game late in the fourth quarter and his defense on Paul Pierce at the end of regulation, LeBron James offered up an apology for using the word “retarded” to describe a question asked of Dwyane Wade following a Game 3 loss to the Celtics Saturday night. James was heard muttering “that’s retarded” while Wade was being asked if he had any reaction to those who might think his play on Rajon Rondo was dirty.
“First of all, I want to apologize for using the ‘R’ word after Game 3. If I offended anyone, I sincerely apologize,” said James, who scored 35 points and led the Heat to a 98-90 overtime win at TD Garden Monday night, pushing the Celtics to the brink of elimination Wednesday night in Miami.
|Rajon Rondo all wrapped up and ready to go||05.09.11 at 7:52 pm ET|
The Celtics All-Star point guard dislocated his left elbow when he was pushed to the ground by Dwyane Wade with 7:02 left in the third quarter of Game 3 Saturday night at TD Garden.
He left the game and had the elbow popped back in place and started the fourth quarter, inspiring the Celtics in a 97-81 win over the Heat. After taking part in the pregame shootaround Monday morning, Rondo was cleared to play in Monday’s Game 4.
|Celtics Live Blog: C’s-Heat Game 4 from the Garden||at 5:59 pm ET|
Join WEEI.com Celtics writers Paul Flannery, Ben Rohrbach and Mike Petraglia as they provide live updates from inside TD Garden as the Celtics look to even their best-of-7 with the Heat at 2-2 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
|Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett named First Team All-Defense||at 2:30 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett tied an NBA record with his ninth appearance on the NBA All-Defensive First Team, the league announced on Monday. Garnett’s teammate Rajon Rondo was also named to the First Team, drawing the second-most votes behind Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. This is Rondo’s second straight First-Team appearance. He made the Second Team in 2008-09.
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James were also voted on to the First Team. It was also Bryant’s ninth First Team nod, which allowed him and Garnett to tie the all-time record for First Team appearances held by Michael Jordan and Gary Payton.
The voting was done by the 30 head coaches and coaches are not allowed for one of their players. Here’s the full breakdown:
2010-11 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
Position, Player, Team 1st 2nd Points
Center Dwight Howard, Orlando 27 2 56
Guard Rajon Rondo, Boston 16 7 39
Forward LeBron James, Miami 17 4 38
Guard Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 13 7 33
Forward Kevin Garnett, Boston 15 3 33
2010-11 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
Position, Player, Team 1st 2nd Points
Guard Tony Allen, Memphis 7 9 23
Guard Chris Paul, New Orleans 6 6 18
Center Tyson Chandler, Dallas 3 11 17
Forward Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 5 5 15
Forward/Center Joakim Noah, Chicago 3 9 15
|Mike Gorman on M&M: ‘I think Miami is emotionally spent’||at 1:28 pm ET|
Longtime Celtics television broadcaster Mike Gorman joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday afternoon to discuss the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Heat. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
“I thought it was physical playoff basketball with a bad result,” Gorman said. “What happened to Rondo didn’t have anything to do necessarily with the way Wade hit him. It was just trying to brace his fall that he got his arm out there. It wasn’t like his arm was twisted willfully by an opposing player.”
Gorman said he was surprised by the Heat’s failure to be aggressive with Rondo after the injury.
“Maybe they were just so stunned he was on the floor,” Gorman said. “They seem hypnotized by the fact that he was playing them with one hand tied behind his back. ‘¦ Not only they didn’t pressure the ball, they didn’t even force him to go left. It was like they were deferential to him. I don’t think that’s going to be the case tonight.”
Gorman said the Heat’s struggles Saturday and forward Chris Bosh acknowledging the Boston crowd affected his play might be a sign that the long season is wearing on them.
“I think Miami is emotionally spent,” Gorman said. “I think they’ve had the headlights, the spotlights, whatever you want to call it, right in their eyes right since training camp opened 6-7 months ago. And every single city they were in, they were getting booed, they were getting questioned. I think Bosh saying he was intimidated was more a sign of a guy saying that he was emotionally exhausted.
“I couldn’t believe on Saturday night, having the Celtics down 2-0 that [LeBron] James and Wade didn’t come out and just be assassins. Wade was an assassin, but James was tentative. I don’t know how else to describe it. For a guy with all the talent that he has, in a game like that to be tentative really is kind of amazing. So, I wonder about the psyche of this team.
“I also wonder ‘ I think it’s 10 or 11 in a row now they’ve lost in Boston. They may be starting to think they can’t win here.”
|Rajon Rondo goes through shootaround prior to Game 4||at 12:00 pm ET|
Injured point guard Rajon Rondo went through shootaround at the Celtics‘ training facility in Waltham Monday morning, which is generally an indication that he will try to play in Game 4 Monday night at the Garden against Miami. Rondo was on the floor in practice clothes shooting free throws when the media was allowed down on the court. He didn’t talk to the press.
Rondo dislocated his left elbow in the third quarter of Game 3 after he became entangled with Miami’s Dwyane Wade. Rondo underwent and MRI and a CT-scan on Sunday and both came negative for a fracture. The Celtics have said that he is a game-time decision.
Fellow point guard Carlos Arroyo said that he thinks Rondo is ready. “He’s a warrior,” Arroyo said. “He demonstrated that last game. We were all surprised in the fact that he came back after that injury. I know he’s ready. He wants to play. He wants to win.”
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