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Your Morning Dump… Where it ain’t about Shaq’s numbers

RedsArmyAdmin January 7, 2011 Uncategorized 15 Comments

Shaq peeking from towel
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

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.

But his Celtics bosses and teammates see through the figures. Or maybe they see other stats beyond the traditional. Yes, O’Neal had just four points and one rebound against the Spurs Wednesday, but in a game the Celts won by two points, the club was a plus-7 with him on the floor.

“I think he’s playing fine,” said general manager Danny Ainge. “We’re producing when he’s playing. That’s the big thing.

“It’s hard to look at an individual’s numbers. You have to look at the bigger picture. When a guy’s on the court, what is a team doing. And the team’s playing really well when he’s out there.”

With Tim Duncan and Matt Bonner running around, the Celts weren’t expecting Wednesday to be O’Neal’s night.

“He’s always effective,” said Doc Rivers. “It’s just that some games — like San Antonio — are going to be tough nights for him because they have two shooting bigs.

“The problem there is you want to keep him low, but both bigs are popping. It makes it tough for him, but he’s been great.”

Herald: Shaquille O'Neal bigger than numbers

Shaq has his limitations… that much is obvious.  He's a monster who can't move around very well, but who still have serviceable skills.  He's got enough of those skills left that the other team can't leave him.  And that means all of us who said he'd clog the middle because he can't move were wrong… he's doing the opposite. 

It's almost as if he's so big out there, he's created his own gravitational pull… and it's sucking other defenders into his orbit and clearing a lane for the other guys to get to the hole. 

Everyone to a man is praising Shaq for his ability to open things up.  Almost makes you wonder how things will change when Perk returns.  I've always advocated that Perk get his starting job back when he gets back to full strength.  But the argument can be made that there's no use in rocking the boat when it's going smoothly.  Shaq will only play the first 5 minutes anyway and Perk will probably be finishing games if he's not starting them… 

… so… I guess as we get closer to Perk's return in the next few weeks, we'll start to hear more about how Perk and Shaq will be used.  I think a solid argument can be made either way.

On Page 2: The latest round of All Star voting

Rondo is the team's top vote-getter thus far at 929,781 votes, followed by Garnett (850,687), O'Neal (506,621), Allen (494,489), and Pierce (465,270). 

Based on last week's returns, here's how the players fared in this week's balloting: Rondo 152,471 votes; Garnett 138,132; O'Neal 95,958; Allen 102,048; and Pierce 83,922. 

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Forwards: LeBron James (Mia) 1,194,091; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 850,687; Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 826,628; Paul Pierce (Bos) 465,270; Chris Bosh (Mia) 334,921; Josh Smith (Atl) 225,951; Carlos Boozer (Chi) 222,431; Danilo Gallinari (NYK) 168,519; Danny Granger (Ind) 158,836; Andre Iguodala (Phi) 150,840. 

Guards: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,167,649; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 929,781; Derrick Rose (Chi) 917,753; Ray Allen (Bos) 494,489; John Wall (Was) 212,238; Gilbert Arenas (Orl) 193,056; Brandon Jennings (Mil) 172,076; Raymond Felton (NYK) 144,707; Jamal Crawford (Atl) 123,531, Joe Johnson (Atl) 119,455. 

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,205,159; Shaquille O'Neal (Bos) 506,621; Joakim Noah (Chi) 197,407; Andrew Bogut (Mil) 159,560; Al Horford (Atl) 149,908; Roy Hibbert (Ind) 133,416; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 126,185; Brook Lopez (NJ) 104,784; JaVale McGee (Was) 82,650; Ben Wallace (Det) 61,051. 

ESPN Boston: All Star voting: Threepeat

There's often something to get worked up about with the All Star voting… but I have a hard time arguing this year.  Rondo and Rose are neck-and-neck… as are KG and Amar'e.  Some people might get worked up about Shaq getting votes… but he's at least playing and being productive… as opposed to TMac and Iverson getting votes last year while not even playing.  

By the way, follow that link for the West voting. Aside from Yao leading the center race, it's about right as well.  

Go here to vote or text your vote's last name to 69622.

Related Links:  WEEI:  KG, Rondo hold narrow All Star lead  

The rest of the links: 

ESPN Boston:  The Mailbag: Within Reach  |  WEEI: Power rankings  |  Doc on D&C: 'Saw improvement' on Rondo's elbow jumper  |  Ainge:  "one of the best games Rondo's ever played"  |  Globe:  Jermaine O'Neal OK with new role  |  CSNNE: Celtics rookies adjust to uncertainty of playing time  |  Celtics content with roster despite injuries  |  MWDN:  Davis has perfect timing  

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  • @JdotD

    Does anyone know why we don’t play JO at 4/5 instead of just 5. He’s a natural 4 anyway and has traditionally struggled against 5s his entire career (I know he’s a lot slower now etc but still), and surely doing this would also alleviate some of the minutes issues when perk returns. He can be the primary backup 4 with baby being the primary backup 5 (or given that he plays in-between a 4 and 5 ,JO can do the same and would arguably be a perfect fit for that, tall but somewhat thing and slow instead of lacking height but big with (foot) speed) and with Shaq playing the same kind of spot minutes (possibly at starter) which he is what he is doing now anyway so wont really effect anything.
    It just seems that by limited JO to playing strictly at 5 we’re making the minutes problem a lot worst than it needs to be.
    I thought maybe starting him at 4 whilst KG is out would have been the smart choice (I know he isn’t really at game shape yet but still) especially considering when Doc started Semih instead of Baby when Shaq was out it was because he wanted to “preserve the bench rotation” or something, which JO clearly isn’t very set in anyway. Just seems like for a guy who is struggling to get back on track with his game, we’re not making the most out of him (not saying he’s going to do much, but he’s playing pretty crappy right now, regardless of what Doc and Paul are saying!). Sorry for the essay.

  • GreenCactus

    Am I the only one to notice that the Celtics are gonna have 5 all-stars this year?

  • CFH

    I doubt that. KG and Rondo will be voted in.
    When the coaches are choosing the backups, they will put Pierce in.
    But the coaches aren’t going to put Ray in (regardless of whether he deserves it) because they won’t want four from one team, let alone five, especially with Miami also having three.

  • Venus

    Bulls fans are stuffing the ballot boxes because of their irrational obsession with Rondo being better than Rose at anything. On their realgm board they talk about clearing browser cookies and voting multiple times. And making pacts with Knicks fans to vote for Amare in exchange for Rose votes. Pathetic. A lot of Rose fans seem to be dumber than he is.
    KG and Rondo are getting in anyway so I don’t care. All I care about is a chip in June. This shit is meaningless.

  • ben

    I agree, JO should start at the 4 until KG returns, and then he should be our backup 4 when KG comes back. I think shaq and perk will handle the center minutes fine when both are healthy. Other option is JO at 4 and KG at 5 to help perk and shaq eat up all the center minutes.

  • @JdotD

    We might get four (besides Joe Johnson and Derrick Rose I don’t see why Ray wouldn’t make it) but there’s no way that Shaq gets picked by the coaches over Noah or probably even Hibbert Horford and Bogut.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pricehook44 Ainge still lives

    Shaq n Perkins what a great problem to have.

  • Nora

    Wow. Pathetic. Shows that it is not really based on talent but by how many can cheat so their teams’ players get to start. Amare and Rose both deserve to get in but not by cheating.

  • http://jtshoopsblog.blogspot.com jtshoopsblog

    Shaq is the last of a dying breed: the dominant big man. No man brings forth as much fear and intimidation that Shaq has his entire career. And he still maintains that reputaion, even when he’s pushing forty and in the twilight of his career. He’s a HOFer for sure once he decides to retire

  • paul

    where does Big Baby fit in this scenario?

  • paul

    Shaq is doing precisely what he was asked to do: as I understand it, it was asked to be a role player, NOT to carry a heavy production load, and he’s doing it brilliantly. So what happens to the poor guy, who happens to be giving his career numbers a heckuva cut, to help us get a championship? He gets criticized for not producing an impressive enough stat sheet!
    It seemed to start with the Orlando game. Shaq seemed to get a lot of grief for not doing much in that game; geez, all he did was get into Dwight Howard’s head, while putting a body on him, pretty much taking him out of the game. Wasn’t that a lot to do? The rest of the league would be thrilled to have someone able to take Howard out of his game.
    While I’m concerned about Shaq not rebounding or finishing as well lately as he seemed to be doing earlier in the season, the main thing is that he’s accepted a role where he doesn’t have to be and isn’t expected to be the hero.

  • ben

    he doesn’t

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    He’s still primarily KG’s back up. He’ll find minutes.

  • michael

    We should get five in the game. If you actually look at it strategically (which they don’t, but just saying), the east needs shooters and mostly due to injury I don’t think J. Johnson deserves the nod over Ray this year.
    Noah is injured so if picked needs to be replaced. Based on voting, how do they not choose Shaq? Horford is a PF playing center. He and Bogut might deserve it over Shaq, but NO WAY on Hibbert.
    I think JO is doing just fine and will continue to improve. Take it easy on the guy, he wants to perform well. If he really goes all out, he may very well get injured again. He is filling a valuable role for us right now and his shot should eventually return. He used to perform at such a high level and he knows those days are behind him. It’s not fun to come to grips with. At a grossly scaled down level, I am going through this in my own game right now at 34. Torn meniscus from trying to side step like Rondo and D-Rose when driving the lane!
    As fans it is more important to encourage guys in Jermaine’s situation, even if only in our own little commentaries that none of these guys ever see. He is discouraged enough on his own and we can help him break out of that self-doubt! He is still paid millions because he’s 7 feet tall, has good instincts, is coordinated, can knock down jumpers, and can defend guys like Michael Beasley.
    I am wondering if Semih will be shut down for surgery once Perk comes back? Now that Shaq and JO are in the rotation, we’re not even using him.
    No way JO should be taking Baby’s minutes unless a specific matchup calls for it, like maybe to defend Brandon Bass, Bosh, or Gasol when KG needs a rest.

  • Champ

    “He’s a HOFer for sure once he decides to retire”
    Wow, you think?