Jermaine O’Neal is expected to play tomorrow against the Orlando Magic.
But Jermaine O’Neal’s been out since Nov. 8 nursing a sore left knee, getting fitted for brace after brace. Shaquille O’Neal’s missed nine games because of a bruised right calf, But both should be healthy enough to play tomorrow against the Magic, which means the Celtics will finally have their two biggest free agent additions on the floor for at the same time for the first time since October.
I’m just waiting to hear what malady J.O. comes down with tomorrow. Tonsillitis? A sore throat? The common cold? A chipped fingernail? There’s no way he ACTUALLY plays tomorrow, right?
Even with both O’Neals likely to play together for the first time all season, the Celtics still won’t be at full strength:
Rajon Rondo remains unlikely to play. Doc Rivers said Rondo won’t play until he’s 100%.
“The bottom line with Rajon – and everybody during the regular season – is you don’t come back until you’re 100 percent,” Rivers said. “Obviously if it was the playoffs, Rondo may even be able to play, but it’s just not worth it. It’s a long year, we’ve just got to get guys healthy. Rondo’s had the hamstring, he had the plantar fasciitis. So with the ankle, this gives him a chance to actually get healthy. It’s not good for us [now]. It’s good for him. In the long run it’ll be good for us.”
Ahh, I get it now. It’s okay to play Rondo 47 minutes when he’s clearly hobbled by a sore hamstring and plantar fasciitis. But as soon as he twists an ankle, “the bottom line with Rajon is you don’t come back until you’re 100%.”
Maybe Rivers should have followed his own bottom line earlier. Said Rondo, ”Obviously, my body’s been telling me to rest for a long time. I get injured every two games.”
Kendrick Perkins traveled with the team to Orlando, where he continues his comeback trail. Rondo also made the trip, as did Semih Erden (whose flu-like symptoms may cause him to miss tomorrow’s game) and Luke Harangody (who still looks quite a bit like Buzz from Home Alone).
As for Jermaine O’Neal likely playing tomorrow? I’ll believe it when I see it.