Celtics

Rivers refutes report Shaq is done for playoffs

191544.jpg

Rivers refutes report Shaq is done for playoffs

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers refuted a report that it would take a "miraculous recovery" for Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal to return for the playoffs.

"I know that's not true," Rivers told CSNNE.com. "He's going to play. I just don't know when."

O'Neal has played a career-low 37 games this season for the C's, primarily because of multiple injuries to his right leg.

Dr. Brian McKeon, the C's team doctor, said the 39-year-old has a triceps surae injury which has created pain around his right calf and Achilles tendon that has been too painful for him to play through.

The team put O'Neal through a running drill on Saturday, but McKeon said O'Neal failed it.

The report alleging that paints the return of O'Neal as being unlikely was in the North Andover Eagle Tribune.

The newspaper cited an unnamed source who said that, "if he were to come back, it would have to be a miraculous recovery. And at his age (39 years old) and physical condition, the Celtics have planned accordingly."

According to the report, the decision to plan on life without O'Neal was made shortly after he failed the running drill on Saturday.

That same day, McKeon as well as Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, addressed the media to give an update on O'Neal's status.

"He's actually made progression every day," McKeon said. "This is a tough injury. The blood supply in this area is so weak and so poor . . . it needs time. I was telling Danny and the coaches, in the last 20 years of medicine, this is one area we have made no progress. It's just time. It's hard to get enough healing potential in that area."

Ainge added, "It's not like there is this magic test. The test is, does it hurt? You run up and down the court and does it hurt. That's the test. And can you play."

Even before O'Neal arrived, the Celtics made a strong push to bolster the center position.

That mindset didn't change after they traded Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City.

In addition to Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal, the C's also have Nenad Krstic (he came over as part of the Perkins trade with the Thunder) and Troy Murphy, who signed with the Celtics after being waived by the New Jersey Nets. The Celtics also use Glen Davis and Kevin Garnett at times at the center position.

Surgery won't fix his injury, and cortisone shots have little effect on that part of the body, McKeon said.

"The longer we wait, the better chance he has of being healthy."

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

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.

Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.

Jalen Rose called Paul Pierce petty right to his face... 😳

A post shared by DIME on UPROXX (@dimemagazine) on

Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.

It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

clippers_rockets.jpg

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Houston Rockets players entered the Los Angeles Clippers’ training room before being stopped by security but not before a profanity-laced exchange that’s sure to result in fines and possibly some suspensions.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo threw a punch – and barely missed – hitting Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica which led to both players being ejected and for Afflalo will likely result in a suspension of some kind.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons got into it with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, resulting in both players being tossed and apparently leading to Simmons signaling to Lowry that they could continue having their “discussion” in the hallway.

That hallway encounter never happened (Lowry said he was there, Simmons said he didn’t see Lowry so you believe who you want to), but the fact that it was even a possibility speaks to this being one of the more bizarre weeks in recent memory when it comes to potential fighting in the league. 

And remember … it’s only freakin’ Wednesday!

I asked Boston’s Al Horford about this.

“It’s very, very bizarre,” said Horford, now in his 11th NBA season. “I don’t think I remember any period of time, (with) all this chippiness going on. You want to compete, you want to play hard; that’s fine. But all the extra stuff, I think needs to stop. At the end of the day you need to focus on basketball. We’re here to play.”

Horford added, “I’m sure the NBA will address those things and fix them.”

No one was shocked that things got a little testy in the Houston-Los Angeles Clippers game which was played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was the first time Chris Paul, now with the Rockets, returned to Los Angeles to face his former team. 

The Clippers won 113-102, a game filled with trash talk from both sides. But apparently the chatter soon turned to chippy play with hard fouls delivered and taken in the latter stages of play with a total of five technical fouls called, two of which were on Blake Griffin which is an automatic ejection. 

Talking trash gone bad was a factor in the Simmons-Lowry bruhaha with the Sixers emerging with the victory. 

And on Tuesday, Afflalo and Bjelica had already been assessed a technical for an earlier run-in. Soon after, there was a collision between the two which pissed off Afflalo who swung with great force at Bjelica’s face. 

“We’re professionals,” Horford said. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff.”

Horford plays around the basket and is no stranger to banging around with the big, bad angry bodies. 

But as much as there will be times when he’ll want to snap, Horford has consistently resisted the urge. 

“It’s hard; it’s hard,” he said. “But we have to remember what we play the game for; I play to win. I’m playing for my teammates and sometimes you need to take a step back before you do something you regret. That’s the way I look at it.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE