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Thursday, April 21st, 2011 at 9:30 am  |  14 responses

Shaquille O’Neal to Play in Game 4?

Doc Rivers won’t have the big fella in Game 3, but hints that O’Neal may suit up on Sunday. The Boston Herald reports: “Doc Rivers said [Wednesday] that the team’s medical staff has noticed some improvement in Shaq’s response to a strained right calf muscle and Achilles tendon. ‘He’s going to try to go tomorrow. I just don’t see it,’ Rivers said of a scheduled Shaq workout for tomorrow before the team boards its early afternoon charter flight. ‘I’m just going to be a real doctor right now and say I doubt it. But he is going to try to do some things tomorrow and we’ll see. He’s had some improvement but I don’t know how much,’ said Rivers. ‘I just go by what Eddie (trainer Lacerte) and (Dr. Brian) McKeon tell me. They said he’s had some improvement so I’ll relay that onto you guys. I’m not sure yet if he makes the trip. It depends on what’s best. If you see him on a trip that means he’s really close. That means we think he’ll play Sunday.’”

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  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Shaq back = Knicks pick-n-roll untill the cows come home.

  • http://kobebeefnba.com LDR4

    The Celtics keep talking about Shaq’s comeback like it is the second coming and that everything will change when it happens. I honestly do not see that happening. Sure he can still clog the paint but if he is away from the rim he is a huge defensive liability. They wont really need him against the Heat’s frontcourt…he is best suited for playing the Magic which may or may not happen.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    For their “Top 500″ Slam had Shaq at #4 all-time and Kobe at #10. I think most folks would have those two a bit closer, but using that as the measuring stick…what does Kobe have to do to move past his former team-mate on the all-time list? As of right now, they have the same number of MVPs, Olympic Golds, same number of scoring titles, same number of All-NBA first team selections (Kobe will likely pass this year), Kobe has more All-D first team selections (8-0), Kobe has more ASG MVPs, Shaq has more finals MVPs, Kobe has one more title, Shaq is barely leading in points (regular season & playoffs) but has a four year advantage towards that. How do you think those guys end up in the Top 10 debates?

  • ernied

    Save him for when they will need him… Orlando, Miami, Chicago, LA. Take your pick.

  • bashmo

    8 All Defensive first teams doesn’t make much sense, it only seems to me that Kobe is a great defender when he wants to. Otherwise he seems pretty average on defense. He’ll ocasionally have a helpside block or a steal that leads to a dunk, but I think that he is just a little but overrated defensively. Just my opinion. As for Shaq, without a doubt top player. He dominated and demand double/triple teams every night, and was incredibly efficient. You also have to consider how bad of a free throw shooter he was, which is a testament to his offensive ability as well. He would carry teams like it waS nothing.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @bashimo: So where in the top 10 do you think both guys end up? Also, a couple things that don’t get mentioned with Kobe in regards to defense is that he is among the top 2 – 3 guards in defensive rebounding year in and year out, which I think is a factor. Also the Lakers tend to be towards the top of the L defensively and no matter what shows up in the box score he leads that effort. I think the voters recognize those things.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    Also, there is a very good chance that Kobe adds another 1st or 2nd team D to his resume as he was second among all guards (behind Rondo) in DPOY voting.

  • jimmer

    @jumpman – SLAM have got shaq too high in the all-time list, and Kobe about right. You could rank Shaq 6th or 7th, and Kobe 10th. They would then be closer, but shaq will always be above Kobe, just because his size and very, very, brief prime made him all-time transcendent good, Chamberlain, Jordan, Magic style. Kobe, for all the accolades, would not have struck fear in the hearts of these men. A prime shaq just may have. He also should have retired about 4 years ago.

  • Harlem_World

    Kobe is definitely overrated as a defender as evidenced by the number of first team selections he has. He’s not a bad defender by any means, but he definitely is not a 8 time 1st team defense player. Shaq is more dominant and ultimately more valuable. If you measure ‘better’ by who is more dominant, there’s no question, it’s Shaq. Who contributes more individually to a championship? Shaq. Kobe has 1 more ring, but has a better team. Take each at their absolute prime and measure which one is more likely to be the decisive factor in winning a chip on the same level of supporting cast and it’s Shaq all day.

  • dsleepy

    shaq is only needed this year against the magic or against the lakers. that’s it. anyone else will kill the C’s with the pick and roll. also, it only took 3 comments for news about shaq returning to somehow turn into a kobe-talk…oh well.

  • bashmo

    I’d rank Shaq maybe 7-6 behind some of the all time greats such as MJ, Magic, Larry, Kareem, maybe even Wilt/Bill Russ(for those who respect the past players). I’d have Kobe top 15, or maybe 9-10 sounds about right. Tim Duncan I have up on both of them though. He should be considered top 5 all time. I’d say he is the most succesful active player in the league, Timmy is.

  • TheGlove

    Co-sign first comment; that’s what the Pistons did to the Lakers in the Finals. Run Chanucey off a Ben Wallace screen and let him pick the D apart.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    @bashimo: fair enough. For me I have Kobe ahead of Tim essentially as he has been named player of the decade in the decade in which the majority both of their careers were played. As well as his sustain excellance (KB will likely be all-nba this year) and extra title. MJ #1, Russel #2, Wilt #3, after that it gets hazy.

  • Yesse

    Don’t bet on it.

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