The Boston Celtics might have just found a spark.
Reports indicate that Shaquille O’Neal will be availiable for Saturday’s game against the Miami Heat.
The Celtics have been lacking a presence in the paint ever since the loss of Kendrick Perkins. The hope was that Shaq would fill the void left by Perkins, while adding a young prospect in Jeff Green. He has not.
Obviously Shaq has not been able to stay healthy this season, but according to reports he will dress this Saturday and that is potentially good news for Boston, who needs all the help it can get at this point.
The Celtics’ age has shown in its first two games in Miami. The Heat has proven to be younger and more athletic than the Celtics so far this series. Miami has gotten to the rim at will, while playing stifling defense on the perimeter and inside. Take the block by LeBron James on Kevin Garnett in game 2.(video below) Tell me KG isn’t feeling his age after this. It is impossible for humility not to sink in after a block of that magnitude transpires.
How does Shaq solve this problem for Boston? Especially when he is just as old and more broken than everyone else on the roster. He may not solve anything for the Celtics, but he certainly provides some problems for the Heat.
Miami still has a glaring weakness at center, and no matter how old he is, if he can stay on the floor, you can guarantee that Shaq will not have any problems scoring on whoever Miami throws out at center.
Fortunately for the Heat, expecting Shaq to play anything more than 20 minutes at this point of his career carries about as much weight as Donal Trump’s campaign for presidency.
The Celtics have experience, in fact they have a lot of experience. Too much. Adding Shaq to a playoff roster that has already been bit by the proverbial “injury bug” through only two games of the most anticipated match up thus far in the post season is almost comical.
Actually, it is hilarious. Shaq always feels the need to burn bridges after leaving his former teams. He no longer wanted to play with Penny Hardaway in Orlando, so he left for Los Angeles. Then, Kobe Bryant and Jerry Buss turned into the enemy after he was traded to Miami.
I do not expect Heat fans to forget the way in which Shaq decided to leave Miami. Taking cheap shots at Chris Quinn and trainer Ron Culp, who nobody ever had an unkind word about.
The fact is that Shaq has officially become a punchline. While he may be effective offensively in his brief stints off the bench, he still will lack the ability to defend the pick-and-roll or rebound. Yes he is a big body, a very big body (yes I’m talking about his weight). But there is no way he is in good enough shape to compete at the level that Miami is playing at currently.
Shaq is back, but it makes no difference. Enjoy your minutes off the bench Shaq, they very well may be your last. There was speculation that Shaq reached out to Dwyane Wade in the off season in an attempt to sign with the Heat after they acquired the most coveted free agents of the class. Now he can watch first hand, as Miami sends him home early.
Karma is a bitch.