My cousin Mike spent half his childhood in a cast. We would wrestle harmlessly, and Mike would break his arm. We would go skiing, and Mike would crash into a tree and shatter his leg. We would play basketball, and Mike would grab an uncontested rebound, land softly on the floor, and then somehow fracture his foot. We would go out to eat, and, well you get the point. No matter what we were doing, Mike found a way to get injured.
Mike’s kind of like the O’Neal’s. These guys make paper houses seem durable. The latest news?
Jermaine O’Neal didn’t practice today, but Shaq expected to participate in some light work. Doc Rivers didn’t know if either would be available tomorrow night against the Heat, and he didn’t seem too confident. (ESPN Boston)
“No, I have no idea [about Thursday],” said Rivers. “J.O. will not practice [Wednesday] and Shaq’s going to try to do a little bit [Wednesday] to test it. I would say likely neither [will play Thursday]; Maybe out first adventure into the no-big world. But we’ll see. Maybe both. Who knows?”
If tomorrow is Boston’s first adventure into the no-big world, it couldn’t come at a worse time. The Heat’s biggest weakness is interior defense (see: Millsap, Paul). If neither O’Neal can go, that mitigates one of Boston’s two most important advantages (the other being, simply, Rondo).
But don’t be too worried yet. Despite Rivers’s lack of confidence, Shaq told CSNNE that he expects to play.
“Like I said, it was one little pain that was bothering me,” as O’Neal grabbed the back of his right knee. “But that [pain] wasn’t there the last couple of days.”
As for Jermaine? He told the Boston Globe he is “50/50″ for tomorrow.
“I think if I get a great day of treatment in. If I can get the pain level down to maybe 40, 50 percent, then yeah, I’d play. But obviously I know it’s not going to be 100 percent pain-free, but it just can’t feel the way it felt in the first half.”
O’Neal is still bothered by the procedure he recently underwent. (Yes, the same procedure that Danny Ainge has no idea existed.)
“I’m feeling better,” said Jermaine O’Neal. “It’s a little better than it was [Tuesday]. I’m just trying to gauge the pain factor. I’ll know [Thursday morning], it won’t be a game-time decision for me. It may even be after shootaround. We’re just trying to figure out what’s actually happening — why the knee is all of a sudden swelling.
“I think it could be situation where, I did have a procedure done, basically I didn’t take time off after the procedure and kind of aggravated it.”
O’Neal told CSNNE, “Hopefully Father Time will make it feel even better.”
When the O’Neal’s do work their way back into the lineup, Doc Rivers has a new strategy, inspired by last night when Millsap morphed into some weird mixture of Reggie Miller, Robert Horry, Tracy McGrady and Paul Bunyan. “We’re going to work on our threes today with Kevin and Shaq,” Rivers said.
I’m down with that plan.
As long as Nate Robinson plays center.