Everything we've heard this summer has been about Shaquille O'Neal coming off the bench. Shaq's going to anchor that second unit.
There was never an inkling of doubt that Jermaine O'Neal would be the starter and Shaq would play 15-20 minutes off the bench. Until now.
Speaking after the Celtics’ practice Tuesday, Doc Rivers said that he doesn’t plan on rotatingJermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal in the starting lineup depending on match-ups, instead going with one consistent starter until Kendrick Perkins returns from his knee injury.
“I doubt it. I don’t usually do that,” said Rivers when asked if he was going to alternate between two big men. “I usually just go with one, and that’s what we’ll do. I’m going to wait until the end of camp and the best big wins.”
You're going to what now? Best big wins? What happened to all that other talk? What happened to Jermaine's the starter and Shaq's the guy who you can dump the ball to on the second unit?
I still think Jermaine's a better starting center simply because Shaq is more valuable as a bench player. Even if Shaq is playing better than Jermaine, I like him better as a guy who'll take on back up centers and force a lot more team fouls against slightly inferior competition. And when that second unit loses its focus, you can dump it to Shaq in the post and let him do something.
Meanwhile, Jermaine can benefit from being on the floor with four All Stars. He'll get a lot more open shots and rebounds just in the flow of the offense… just like Perk did. He's more agile than Shaq, so he'll work better along side KG down low.
Regardless of how camp goes, I still like Shaq coming off the bench. Doc needs to make a call and stick with it.