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Summer Forecast: Which O’Neal will start?

RedsArmyAdmin August 26, 2010 Uncategorized 9 Comments

Today's question in the ESPNBoston.com Summer Forecast continues the debate that I think has long since been settled:  Who starts at center until Perk gets back?

To me, the answer is obvious:Jermaineoneal

Jermaine O'Neal. End of story. Done. Done. Done.

The Celtics need Shaq off the bench. That second unit will have some work to do with new players learning new things early on. The C's need someone who, when the excrement hits the spinning blades, can get the ball and do something with it. When all else fails, you can put Shaq against some second-string center and he can at least make a move. If nothing else, he can draw a foul and move the team closer to the penalty. So, whatever free throws he misses early in the quarter will become free throws made for Ray AllenPaul Pierce or Kevin Garnett later on.

Chuck's with me on Jermaine as the starter… but MrTrpleDouble10 isShaq intro on the Shaq side of the argument.

He is not nearly the defensive player that Kendrick Perkins is at this stage of his career, but he is more of a Perk facsimile than Jermaine O'Neal.  Having Jermaine come off the bench will allow him to be a sub for either Shaq or KG for foul trouble or just in general.  Plus, teaming Jermaine with Big Baby off the bench will give the Celtics more flexibility on the court instead of a Shaq/Big Baby combo.

So what do you guys think?  Which O'Neal should be the starter?

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  • Scott

    I think one thing to consider is that I see the rest of the second unit(consisting of a mixture of Wafer, Nate, ‘Quis, Big Baby, and maybe some Bradley/Harangody) being a more uptempo group. In this respect I think Jermaine O’neal would be a better fit coming off the bench.

  • Lee in Oregon

    Tough one but I’d start Jermaine. I’ve watched his whole career and for whatever reasons Jermaine is a 1st quarter player. He tends to get off early and then coast. Maybe it’s his body stiffening up, but I’ve noticed that tendency alot.
    I think starting Shaq next to KG helps mask Shaq’s defensive liabilities, but I could see him and the green team working well together.
    Either way, it’s a good problem to have, especially if/when Perk gets back.
    It’s been years since either O’neal played a full season.

  • greenbeand

    easy answer: all depends on line ups. both are solid gamers and doc will probably rotate “center by committee”. either way, DA built this team to kix ass.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115709edd57970b G4L

    If nothing else go by the players pay scale.. Jermaine over “Shaqurchusettes”

  • Bas Rutten Jr.

    I agree with Lee. And really good call about Jermaine usually blowing his load in the first quarter. Hopefully he’ll take some bball viagra to keep it up.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    I agree, it’s by committee. In a vanilla world, start Jermaine. He’s just more athletic.

  • Adam

    Having Shaq and Big Baby would allow Baby to develop the more face up game we saw a few years ago as opposed to trying spend more time in the paint with Rasheed roaming on the wings.

  • Adam

    Jermaine should start.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5ebb21970c JD

    Its true, Shaqs game is closer to Perk, but I think even Perk is quite a bit more nimble running the court with Rondo. If we had an uptempo second unit I’d say put Jermaine there, but I think our bench (with all the shooters) is more of a halfcourt team and Shaq will help reinforce that. Jermaine will be a tough enough to be somewhat of a defensive presence in the paint, but the offense will be so much better with a center who can shoot and finish a layup without us being proud that he actually pulled it off (no offense to Perk, but he still has trouble finishing).