|Report: Interest between C’s, Shaq no longer mutual||07.09.10 at 9:13 am ET|
Shaquille O’Neal appears to have moved on from the prospect of joining the Celtics’ front court next season, according to a report by AOL FanHouse NBA writer Chris Tomasson. O’Neal is said to still be interested in playing in Boston, but the Celtics seemed to have lost interest in a deal due to potential chemistry issues. This news comes on the heels of reports that the C’s have already agreed with veteran forward Jermaine O’Neal (no relation) on a two-year deal.
|Rumors: Shaq weighs offer from Hawks||07.06.10 at 8:12 am ET|
While the Celtics reportedly have shown interest in veteran center Shaquille O’Neal, he also is considering a two-year offer from the Hawks that starts at the mid-level exception of $5.8 million, according to AOL FanHouse. The Hawks, who agreed to a max contract with Joe Johnson over the weekend, are in need of a center.
“I think he wants to see how everything shakes out with all the free agents, but he’s seriously considering Atlanta’s offer,” the story quotes a source. “He wants to play two more years, and he wants it to be with a contender. He thinks he can help them become a serious one.”
|Report: Could Shaq fit in Boston?||at 1:03 am ET|
According to a report on ESPN.com, which cited league sources, the Celtics have expressed interest in center Shaquille O’Neal. With the C’s already over the salary cap, they could offer no more than the $5.8 million per year mid-level exception. According to the report, O’Neal would be intrigued by the idea of playing for Celtics coach Doc Rivers and with forward Kevin Garnett.
With Kendrick Perkins sidelined for part of the 2010-11 season following surgery to repair his torn ACL, the Celtics are looking for help at center. O’Neal averaged 12.0 points and 6.7 rebounds a game while playing 23 minutes a night for the Cavaliers in 2009-10.
The report said that O’Neal has also encountered mutual interest with the Hawks and Mavericks, and that if LeBron James returns to Cleveland, he would consider a return to the Cavs. O’Neal, 38, has played for the Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns and Cavs in his career.
|Perk reacts to Shaq’s elbow||05.12.10 at 4:08 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Things got a little heated Tuesday in Game 5 of the Celtics series with the Cavs as there were two sets of double technical fouls issued. The first pair were handed out to Kendrick Perkins and Shaquille O’Neal. The second went to Rajon Rondo and Mo Williams.
Rondo didn’t talk to the media Wednesday, but Perkins was asked about the exchange.
“I got caught up in the moment,” Perkins said. “He threw an elbow. He hit me in my neck. I just told him watch his elbows. If you let a guy keep throwing elbows and don’t tell him and let him get too comfortable, he’s going to keep doing it. At some point as a man you got to stand up.”
|Expect more physical play in Game 2||05.03.10 at 1:40 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — There has been a lot made of the hard foul that Shaquille O’Neal administered to Rajon Rondo late in Game 1 that sent Rondo careening to the floor. One overheated Cleveland media member asked Cavs coach Mike Brown if it was the hardest playoff foul he’s ever seen.
Obviously it wasn’t, but Brown raised some eyebrows when he said he asked the NBA for clarification over whether it actually was even a foul. Brown’s contention is that Rondo initiated the contact.
That’s standard operating procedure during playoff series when teams will send a handful of plays to the league to ask for clarification. The real reason is to send a subtle message about calls that were, or were not made, during the course of a game to set the tone for the next one.
The referees for Game 2 are Dan Crawford, Dick Bavetta and Eddie Malloy. They should expect to see a lot of contact. For the record, the Celtics had no problems with the foul that O’Neal gave to Rondo.
“He’s just got to keep going in there,” Doc Rivers said. “Shaq’s doing what should do. I didn’t think what Shaq did was dirty or anything else. It was just a hard playoff foul. I actually applaud it. We need more of that. Both ways.”
Cavs guard Mo Williams lauded O’Neal for his foul both after Game 1 and again Monday morning as the team went through their shootaround.
“It’s a great asset to have, knowing that he’s going to give hard fouls,” Williams said. “Teams know that. They know that once they go in there they’re going to get hit, so brace yourself.”
Rondo can expect to get a huge amount of attention from the Cavs defense tonight. He saw Williams, Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon at times in Game 1. The Celtics expected as much and while Brown said he would probably start Game 2 the same way — with Williams on Rondo — he won’t hesitate to go back to Parker, who is being hailed around Ohio as a Rondo stopper. A notion the Celtics don’t agree with.
“Honestly, it didn’t really affect us much,” Rivers said. “I thought Rondo’s fourth foul affected Rondo far more than Parker guarding Rondo. I think Rondo likes that matchup in a lot of ways. But that’s what you do. That’s what teams do. That’s what I would do. It’s always better to put a longer guy on a quicker guy. We actually thought it would be LeBron more.”
One thing is certain. If the Celtics are going to come back to Boston with a split, they will have to be the aggressors. Both in taking the ball to the basket and in defending the rim.
“We do have to be more physical,” Kendrick Perkins said. “We have to take it to them tonight. We have to be the more physical team. Last game they were, so tonight we just got to go out there and do what we got to do to get the win.”
|Doc: ‘It’s a big game for them, too’||03.14.10 at 10:50 am ET|
Doc Rivers wants everyone to take a deep breath before Sunday’s latest and greatest ‘Most Important Game of the Year’ against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I think we’ll come in and play terrific,” Rivers said. “But we just have to play hard. There’s no guarantees. But listen, it’s a big game for them, too. It ain’t just one way. I always laugh when I hear guys say it’s a must win. But what if it’s a must-win for both teams? Someone’s not going to win.”
The Celtics (41-23) are coming off a 19-point win over Indiana on Friday night at home and trail third-place Atlanta by a half-game in the East. Meanwhile the Cavs come in with a 51-15 record, and lead the Lakers by three games for the best mark in the NBA.
LeBron James is playing his second game back from a sprained right ankle.
“It would be great, though,” Rivers said of a win in Cleveland. “I think our team is looking forward to it,” Rivers said. “And I guarantee you they’re looking forward to it. There’s no coincidence that LeBron James rested two games and came back. That’s not a coincidence but that’s fine.”
The Cavs will be without Shaquille O’Neal, likely out for the rest of the regular season following surgery on his right thumb, injured the last time the two teams met when Glen Davis went up to block an O’Neal shot. On Sunday, Davis denied hurting O’Neal intentionally during their Feb. 25 meeting.
“They’re playing the same guys, really. They haven’t changed their offense or anything. They’re quicker, faster, more athletic.”
The Celtics are visiting Cleveland for the first time since Oct. 27, when they claimed a 96-89 win over the Cavs on opening night.
|Perkins: Cavs better without Shaq||03.13.10 at 3:37 pm ET|
There is no denying that Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most challenging big men to go up against in the NBA. But in the case of the Cavaliers, Kendrick Perkins thinks they are better suited without him.
The Cavaliers are 6-1 since O’Neal suffered a sprained thumb on February 25 against the Celtics. While it should be noted that wins during that stretch came against the sub-.500 Knicks, Nets, Pistons, and 76ers, Perkins believes that the Cavaliers have more options and speed without O’Neal.
“In my opinion, I think they’re better,” he said after practice on Saturday. “They can run more, you’ve got Anderson Varejao who’s more of an active body, he gets LeBron open a lot, opens up the paint for him, so I think they’re a better team. I mean obviously Shaq could help them, but I think they’re a better, more fast-paced team.”
Even without O’Neal on the court, Perkins will still have hands full in the paint. Anderson Varejao isn’t as big as O’Neal, but he causes problems for opponents in his own way.
“You’ve just got to take him out of the game,” said Perkins. “I think you’ve got to, all the time he’s more of the instigator. I think you’ve got to be more of the instigator when you’re playing against him. You’ve got to hit him first. He’s a guy who flops, gets a lot of calls, takes charges, offensive rebounds, so I think you’ve just got to keep a body on him and play against him hard.”
Varejao is averaging 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games against the Celtics this season, compared to 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds from O’Neal.