Celtics

Celtics notes: Shaq may play Friday; Daniels returns

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Celtics notes: Shaq may play Friday; Daniels returns

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

PORTLAND, Ore. As expected, Shaquille O'Neal will miss his third straight game tonight because of a sore right hip injury. But both O'Neal and coach Doc Rivers expect him to play Friday night at Phoenix.

"I'm good; I've been good," O'Neal said. "Doc told me to take it easy. I've been doing other things; hot tub, hip strengthening exercises. I should be back by Friday's game in Phoenix."

But unlike Kendrick Perkins, who recently returned to the Celtics lineup after tearing the MCL and PCL in his right knee, O'Neal's minutes won't be limited any more than they already have this season.

"We can't limit them much more," Rivers said. "Having Perk and Semih Erden, that'll help. We want to make sure Shaq keeps improving with this team as far as other stuff, but staying healthy at the same time."

Even though the Suns are one of O'Neal's former teams, Rivers was to quick to add that nothing should be read into that being his return game.

"I don't think it's about Phoenix," Rivers said. "Medically, that's when they said he should be able to play."

The Celtics will also welcome back Marquis Daniels, who was away from the team during their 112-95 win over Cleveland attending to a family matter.

Look for Erden to get the starting nod tonight, but don't be surprised if Perkins starts to eat away at Erden's minutes with the first unit during this trip.

Perkins, nearly two weeks ahead of scheduled, returned to the Celtics lineup on Tuesday.

He played more than 17 minutes, and finished with seven points and six rebounds.

"I feel good; I feel all right," Perkins said this morning prior to the C's shoot-around.

Having not played in about six months, Perkins didn't know how his body would feel afterward.

"I'm not hurting that bad," he said. "My knee, I'm sore in other places; I'm cool."

He admits he anticipated he would have some soreness in his right knee.

Needless to say, he was pleasantly surprised.

"I'm going to see how I feel after running up and down, and go from there," he said.

As far as playing time, he knows his minutes will continue to be limited.

"Whatever Doc want me to do," Perkins said. "I want to be out there."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Kyrie practices, expected to be back Sunday

Kyrie practices, expected to be back Sunday

WALTHAM, Mass. – Kyrie Irving was able to participate in all of Celtics practice on Saturday and is expected to be back on the floor when the C's host the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

Irving did not play in an 89-80 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday because of soreness in his left shoulder.

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He will continue to receive treatments for the shoulder, “but I’m just ready to go back out there and play,” Irving said. “I’ve had a few days to reset and do the things needed to put myself in a great position to go out there and play.”

Irving said earlier that the shoulder had been bothering him for a couple weeks and an overtime loss to New Orleans on Tuesday didn’t help matters.

Still just 25 but recently named to his fifth All-Star team, Irving’s return could not come at a better time for the Celtics.

Boston (34-12) has the best record in the Eastern Conference, but the C's are riding a two-game losing streak, which is only the third time this season they've lost back-to-back games.

Arguably Boston’s biggest issue in the loss to the Sixers was an offense that struggled in several phases.

Not having Irving available certainly made matters worse, but there were a number of elements of play that with Irving or not, coach Brad Stevens recognizes his team must make a significant improvement in if they are to remain among the top teams in the NBA.

Stevens talked extensively after the loss and again on Saturday about the team not playing hard enough on offense.

“I don’t want to take away from the teams we’re playing against. They’re really guarding us hard,” Stevens said. “But we’ve got to execute harder. The one thing that’s pretty obvious in person and when you watch on film, is we just didn’t play hard enough on offense which is kind of unique. That’s the way I felt.”

Irving said there needs to be an increase in emphasis on their offense, which would make the game easier for everyone.

“Our spacing, our cutting … just playing the game kind of within the game, understanding our talents and where we can make the game easier,” Irving said. “We have very unique talents on this team. When you’re trying to put that together and guys are coming back into the lineup and getting their rhythm still and guys are in and out sometimes … big picture, down the stretch, we’re going to need everyone to be on the same page.”

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Celtics sign Jarrell Eddie to 10-day contract

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Celtics sign Jarrell Eddie to 10-day contract

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics have signed Jarell Eddie to a 10-day contract.

The 6-foot-7 forward, who has spent two seasons in the NBA with Washington and Phoenix, has appeared in 31 NBA games.

More recently, he played with the Gatorade League’s Windy City Bulls. Appearing in 10 games, Eddie, 26, averaged 17.2 points while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 50.7 percent from 3-point range along with 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

He will wear jersey No. 9.