I just read this totally unsurprising bit of news on the ESPN NBA Rumors
Jermaine O'Neal missed a second consecutive practice on Monday due to a tight left hamstring and will be shut down for the week as a precautionary measure. He will miss the first two exhibition games against the 76ers and Nets.
So The Drain is already hurt and has to be shut down for the week? Before appearing in a single preseason game for the Celtics? He must have been forced to do demanding and rigorous things during the C's practice sessions. Like maybe deep breathing and standing in place.
For the record, O'Neal ranks first among NBA players I could see straining a hammy while just standing. Carlos Boozer ranks a very close second. Greg Oden doesn't make this list because his hamstring would probably erupt out of his leg and try to strangle him if he so much as thought about standing up.
Head coach Doc Rivers says he won't take any chances this early in the year and will give time to the rookies.
"I just think that, when you look at [Shaquille O'Neal] and Jermaine, and think they can play 82 healthy games -- that'd be nice, but we have to be ready for them to miss a couple games and be able to play through it," Rivers told ESPNBoston.com. "That's why guys like Luke Harangody and Semih Erden are so important. Until Kendrick Perkins comes back, they're going to have to play, one of them at least."
Let's recap: Drain and The Big Geritol were Boston's two great offseason pickups, yet Doc Rivers has so little confidence in their ability to stay healthy that Luke Harangody and Semih Erden have apparently become critical to the Celtics' championship aspirations.
Luke Harangody and Semih Erden.
The sound you just heard were the Vegas oddsmakers scrambling to lower Boston's chances at making it back to the Finals next summer. Either that or Phil Jackson laughing. Or maybe Red Auerbach's soul crying out in despair from the afterlife. Take your pick.
O'Neal say he isn't worried about the hamstring, but defining his role on the team.
"I'm not really concerned about [the hamstring]," O'Neal said. "I'm more concerned about being in with the guys and getting that chemistry up. The first four days [of camp] were really good. Wednedsay, Thursday, and Friday [at camp], I was just starting to get comfortable with the system, the philosophies that Doc wanted and also playing with those guys. It's very difficult to learn areas of an offense and defense when you're not in there. That's probably the most frustrating part about it, but I don't have any doubt in my mind that I'll be back in there soon."
No doubt. Then back out of there. Then back in there. Then back out of there...
Labels: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jermaine O'Neal, Shaq