Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
O’Neal is still bothered by pain in his right calf and shin from a collision of knees with Amar’e Stoudemire in the Oct. 29 victory over the New York Knicks. As part of his routine, he takes anti-inflammatory medicine the morning of night games. But yesterday’s 1 p.m. start necessitated him taking the dosage the night before.
“I just forgot to take my drugs,” Shaq said. “Without them, I can’t really play right now. But I’ll be fine Wednesday (when the Celts host the Denver Nuggets).”
Rivers said he might consider sitting Rondo for a stretch of games if needed.
“We get a two-day break after this, and that’s one of the things that went into this [thinking]. We’re just going to try to get through it.’’
Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal will resume individual on-court workouts Monday with hopes of returning to full-team sessions next week, but he did not establish a timetable for returning to game action after sitting out the past month with lingering left knee soreness.
In returning to on-court activities, O’Neal is taking his biggest step forward since shutting himself down and, should all go well this week, expects to be cleared by Boston’s medical staff to engage in full-team exercises.
[...]“Basically, [the goal] is to go every day this week. I won’t travel with the team, but I’ll [work out] every day,” said O’Neal, noting he’ll also return to Boston's practice facility at nights for increased cardio work. “If I do well, then I’m cleared to practice next week. I’m really hoping to get back on the court with the guys.
In order: Shaq's issue is that he's old. He sounds like a guy playing at the Y who forgot to take advil before playing and now he can't get his knees warmed up (not that I… uhhh… know anything about that). Let him take his drugs and he'll be ok.
You wonder if Rondo tried to come back too early from his strained hammy. But he also hit the deck pretty hard so he probably just tweaked it. ALTHOUGH Donny Marshall casually tossed out there that the hamstring is a convenient excuse and it's really Rondo's knee that's the issue after that fall against Chicago.
Donny is just guessing and I don't think that's the case… but I say that more hopefully than with any knowledge. For now we'll just go with what the team is telling us because they've been fairly honest about stuff. And even if it's his knee, it can't be that bad if he was a last minute scratch.
As for Jermaine… the C's bigs are handling things pretty well without him, but he will definitely be an upgrade over Semih. Semih is playing well, but we are so enamored by his surprising play that we overlook a bunch flaws. It's understandable… and he IS playing better than expected… but he's not as good as Jermaine O'Neal.
If Jermaine can come back and simply replace Semih, we'll be fine. And maybe Semih can get some help for that shoulder of his. I wouldn't get any surgery on it yet, though. We don't know when the next stiff breeze will come along and sideline Jermaine for another few weeks.
Related links: CSNNE: Shaq plays through pain
On Page 2: Doc was resting guys no matter what
"We were going to rest our guys and I told our coaches, 'Hey, put your seatbelts on,'" said Rivers, who managed to keep captain Paul Pierce on the bench for the final 12:08 of the first half. "No matter what the score was we had to give our guys a blow. And [the reserves] came in and they changed the tempo, defensively, of the game."
The Nets didn't score a basket for the first 4:27 of the second quarter and settled for six total points over the first 11:06 of the period. Boston ultimately outscored New Jersey 30-12 in the quarter, allowing for an easy win that featured many of those same reserves logging valuable floor time in a perfunctory fourth quarter.
"I thought the second unit in the second quarter changed the whole game," Rivers said. "We went five possessions without a score … but the other team didn't score. It was really good for them to see that. You don't have to score if you keep getting stops. Eventually the dam will break and you'll start scoring. And it happened for them.
"Avery created three offensive fouls because his ball pressure is so good and that's a good thing for all those young guys. And Von buying in, it was really good."
Bradley got burned by Jordan Farmar soon after he subbed in because he got a little too excited, got a little too close, and Farmar went by him. Avery stayed close, but he was a little overzealous. After that, though, he settled down and stayed in front of his guy… drawing those 3 offensive fouls.
And Von Wafer is backing up his words by focusing on his defense. He did score 8 points on 3-5 shooting, which is good, but Doc's looking at the defensive end right now… and when Doc goes out of his way to compliment you in the media… you're doing alright.
This is what we're talking about when we say this team is too strong in the locker room to be affected by any sort of malcontent. A month ago, Von Wafer was looked at as the guy spreading rumors and planting stories about a popular guy. Now he's spewing some of the same party lines as everyone else.
I don't know what was said to him behind closed doors. I don't know if it was just rotting on the bench. But he's being transformed. He's realizing he's got to do this the Celtic way, or no way at all.
The rest of the links:
WEEI: Nate answers the call | Celtics Blog: Will this year be different? Beware the January slide