Oh goodie, another nickname to make up... Jolly Green Giant is fine,
but if people start coming to games dressed like this, well, screw the whole thing.

It's official: Shaq is a Celtic. Actually, when my dad first informed me that "The Celtics got O'Neal" a month ago, I thought he was talking about this one anyway. Now they have both. Together, they might make one good player.

It's funny how many people are asking "How much does Shaq have left in the tank?" when the real question is "How much does he even need to have?" On the Cavs, Shaq was a starter and hailed as a possible savior (Remember that Shaq Sports Illustrated cover asking Can he deliver the King a Ring?).

So now, a year later, Shaq's not good enough to:

>Contribute a solid scoring presence to the Celtics bench, which was notoriously inconsistent last year (Sorry, Rasheed, I loved how you played in game 7 of the finals, but a blind, syphillitic orangutan would have been jacked up for that game)?

>Be a backup center to the other O'Neal until...January or February, when Perkins returns? And the Celtics picked him up for minimum dough when it looked like they would be unable to pick up any more legit big man help? And they still somehow have Rasheed's contract as trade bait (or will 'sheed come back to loaf off until June?)....

>Anchor a second unit with an athletic point guard in Nate Robinson? These two guys could start on other teams - sure those teams are the Nets and the Timberwolves, but still.

This is - as they say - a coup.

Anyone thinking EITHER O'Neal can't significantly improve the Celtics' ability to compete is failing to remember one thing - Kendrick Perkins is not that good. Don't get me wrong. I love him. Works hard and is one of the few young guys on a team full of dusty, albeit incredibly talented, mummies.

He's a powerful defensive stopper, and...uhm...anyone? Anyone? Yup, that's it.

Perkins gets a pass on the rest of his game because of his defense, and that's fine, but let's not pretend either of the O'Neals has big shoes to fill. Perkins tends to get lumped in with the rest of the starters, a la Doc Rivers saying things like "This starting five, when healthy, has never lost a playoff series" (which still holds true, by the way), or an occasional sound-byte seeker muttering the phrase "Big Five" or "the best starting five." Such folks are being enormously generous to Perk.

Both O'Neals are a big offensive upgrade over Perkins. Perkins averaged 5.7 points and 6.2 rebounds in the playoffs last year, oh and anyone complaining that Shaq can't hit freethrows, Perk can't either (Sure, neither can the starting point guard - another huge issue - but I digress). Both O'Neals can muster the occasional 20-point game. If Perkins did such a thing, the Mayans would consider it a sign of impending apocalypse.

The major issue for the Celtics was rebounding and a consistent scoring center. They just picked up two guys who can do some things just as well (rebound) and other things better (score) than the starter they already had in Perkins.

Sure, there are intangibles - injuries, locker room chemistry (this team seemed to absorb Nate Robinson's personality pretty well, but Shaq's personality is a Gulf oil spill next to Nate's)...oh, and does anyone believe the oil is really all gone? Me neither. Speaking of which, Florida was so convinced things were going to be disastrous, they planned a uniquely aggressive marketing campaign for 2011. Listen close for basketbawful's voice as narrator.

Verdict: This Celtics team came a few baskets from winning it all last year, doomed at the very end by rebounding deficits and defensive lapses. They just got better. It won't show in the regular season record, because Doc will manage minutes at the expense of victories, but it will in the playoffs, barring injuries.

Regardless of how the Celtics do, however, I hope we can all agree that watching the Heat go down in flames (pun intended) would be a sadistic joy to watch.


Anonymous AK Dave said...
I move to dub Shaq "the green bastard" henceforth and forthwith.

Blogger David Landon said...
I hope the Celtics can beat the Heat and take out the Lakers. I don't think they will, but there the only ones who conceivably could.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I've already seen The Big Shamrock, but I'm still good with The Big Filming The Second Season Of Stolen TV Show Idea From Nash.

BTW, Shaq challeneged Jim Rome to a boxing match last night on Twitter, complete with donating his new minimum salary to a charity of his choice and "bock bock bock dats what I thought" sounds.

Future Guy - If you want easy money, you can look at next season's marquee games schedule and note the four teams with four games (Lakers, Thunder, Magic, Bulls). In other words, who the NBA is predicting will make the conference finals. Unless the Bulls completely fall apart, or someone finds a way to exploit their lack of 3pt shooting, I think they've got the best chance to topple the Lakers and win it all this year.

Blogger Murcy said...
nah, it has to be Shrekquile O'Neal.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
The Shaq signing is a non-issue, IMO. The simple truth is that he's now Boston's 3rd string center, and just because he'll get minutes until Perkins is healthy (in January or something), doesn't mean he'll get them afterward. How many 3rd string players get serious minutes in the NBA? Zero, that's how many. Shaq is insurance in case J.O. or Perkins get hurt (entirely possible), but otherwise look for him to be leading cheers on the bench come playoff time. And that's probably best for Boston, considering Shaq can't set screens on offense (something the Celtics' offense is predicated on), and is atrocious at team defense (Boston's calling card). Just think of him as the team mascot from the All Star break on.

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
I agree this makes Boston better and is really the perfect fit for Shaq too. He's playing with a bunch of other old legends he respects on a team that plays a bruising physical style (to put it nicely), and his offensive game is actually an improvement on this squad. Only caveat Evil Ted neglected to mention is that while the only thing Perkins is good at is defense, Shaq sucks at it, especially team D. How's that going to work? Is KG going to intimidate him into setting screens for Ray and defending the pick and roll? I'd LOVE to see that fight go down.

"This starting five, when healthy, has never lost a playoff series" (which still holds true, by the way)

Doc Rivers, Quote Machine. I didn't like that take from Doc in '09, and it was an especially pathetic one last year. That's what you call the bad kind of pride, and this particular Celtics squad doesn't need any more of it. I expect that sort of thing from dumbass Lakers fans that think Bynum is a valid excuse for their '08 ass-whooping, but not the coach of the Boston Celtics. I guess that also explains why they led both those series 3-2 before blowing them (including game 7s at home and on the road), which I don't think ANY other Celtic team has done, let alone back to back seasons. Injuries are part of the game, and if you're not healthy enough to win, then you're not good enough to win either, especially when you employ a bunch of "mummies." Which, is the other issue with Shaq and this entire team, rest them all you want, but how long before their bodies automatically self-destruct?

Blogger Will said...
ET- who are you trying to convince, us or yourself?

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Yams -

Insurance is good to have. That's why they call it insurance... woulda been nice for game 7.

Will -

If you expected the Celtics to make a playoff run like they did last year, and therefore have some knowledge that most others don't, I'll be glad to lend an ear to any valid arguments against them you may have now.

Anonymous BillyP said...

The Magic
The Lakers
The Heat
The Suns
The Cavaliers

Blogger Unknown said...
It's a good, cheap gamble to pick up Shaq. At best, he's a scoring option off the bench who keeps KG, Perkins (when healthy), and The Drain's minutes down. At worst, if he becomes a locker room cancer, Boston cuts its losses for only $3million (peanuts for that club).

Anonymous kazam92 said...
I cant believe you are trying to convince yourself The Drain and The Big Freeloader are an upgrade over Perkins. I WATCHED the Drain crap all over the playoffs with an absolutely abysmal performance and as a heatfan have shunned him ever since. We ALL saw Shaq on the cavs and how much better they were without him. Perkins isn't a good offensive player but he can make hook shots and short jumpers and he's scored around 9-10 ppg these past 2 years. When shaq is clogging Rondo's driving lane, he'll be clanking even more jumpers

Considering its the minimum, its not a bad move, but the Boston Geezers are miles away from Miami or even Orlando. Yeah they made the finals but their slog through the regular season was painful. Why do people assume they can make it another 82 games unscathed?

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Yams -

Also, having a third string center who is potentially relevant means your team has depth and can better absorb injury setbacks. It's a luxury most teams do not have, and if any team needs such a luxury, it's the Celtics.

Again, this team was mere buckets away from a Championship last year, and tinkering / adding bits and pieces can obviously make a difference.

Sorbo is right - it's a no lose.


The Celtics are on their way to sign Harangody too. So we have 4 dudes to dribble (Rondo, Nate Robinson, Pierce and Ray Allen) the ball and a ton of center/power forwards.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Shaq can't set screens on offense"


At any rate, I like the pick-up for Boston but It doesn't really matter. For the third year in a row, barring injury, the Lakers have the best team in the league and will likely win again.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Since they picked Shaq up for league minimum then its a win for the Celtics (unless he gets injured or starts acting like a jack ass). But like sheed, shaq is fucking lazy. he cannot guard a pick and roll to save his life and if he plays more than 8 minutes he starts slacking on defense. As a second or third string he's solid but as a starter he's a disaster.

Blogger Andrei said...

Haha, I would love to read the mental gymnastics required to rationalize how this signing would make Boston better. Bawful might have to dedicate all the WOTN posts for the entirety of next season just about the Celtics when they trot out a lineup that includes the Big Geretol, The Drain and Big Shot Larry.

Anonymous Mladen said...
I wanna say this, just for the record:

Shaq's addition won't improve shit. The Celtics lost any chance they had of making another title run, the moment LeBron "took his talents to South Beach". Shaq is a big, lumbering fatass, who thinks he deserves another title purely on his past credentials. I doubt that he has any real desire of helping the Celtics out - he's just hoping that they'll pull another "miracle playoff transformation", and he'll be along for the ride.
BTW, I know you guys hate the Heat, but there's no way in hell they'll lose to basketball's "Golden girls". End of story. I'll be laughing my ass off on game night.

Blogger Will said...
ET- Ever since I stole Biff's sports almanac, I have foreseen everything. (Just wait until you see whose dong-pics get out next. One word: she-male)
But seriously, this post had more of a "talking myself into having the Big Vacation on my team" feel. And for the record, I don't see Shaq having much of an impact on the C's outside of Perkins insurance, which sounds kinda sad.

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
ET -

If Boston was a couple of buckets away from a championship with Sheed playing like he did in game 7 (11 & 8), they might have lost by double digits with Perkins out there. Sheed WAS the extra help Boston needed in that game, the stars just couldn't get it done.

Anyway, Shaq's not irrelevant on this team because they play an offensive style more suited to his skills. In Phoenix or Cleveland, he was an obvious drag, in Boston he could actually get them some buckets within their system, even improve it in the half-court (not hard). He's still a big target you can throw it to down low for a high percentage look or a double team, the issue is his team and pick & roll D, and screens. If he can give them anything there, or they can hide him, I might even start him ahead of the Drain to get the most out of him (not necessarily play him more minutes). So, I don't buy that this is a total non-factor, and as someone who roots against Boston (except against Miami now), I don't like it.

As for why Boston still might not make it this year, well, it's a year later, they're older and less healthy (no guarantee Perk will be the same this year), and they lost their "associate head coach" and defensive coordinator in Tom Thibodeau, who was only in charge of the most important basketball element of this team. I know, I know, Doc has the power of heart, but I'm still curious to see how they do without Thibodueau. Also, has Rondo learned to shoot yet, he's going on year 5, right? That would make me feel better about their chances.

Finally, here's another reason, check the top 3 performers on the East:

Yikes, I know it's just an All-Star Game, but they can obviously play well together, even with other All-Stars demanding more touches than anyone they play with now will.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Cortez - Shaq can set a screen if he's just standing there, but he's not gonna be running all over to set them (the way Perkins does) to free up Ray Ray or anything. At least Boston really doesn't have any slashers that Shaq camping in the paint will be clogging the lane for, but he really doesn't offer much on offense any more. And defensively, he's gone from bad to worse.

ET - True the Celtics have some insurance, and it's a no-lose situation cause he's playing for the minimum, but that's why I said it's a non-issue, not a bad signing. I mean, the Lakers have some insurance in a no-lose situation with their newly signed, over the hill 3rd string center too (Theo Ratliff), but him sitting on the bench waving a towel during the playoffs really isn't gonna mean a whole lot.

You say that the Celtics were close to winning the championship, and that adding Shaq improves the team (I disagree, since I doubt he'll get many minutes once Perkins returns), but you should also notice that LA's pathetic bench of Adam Morrison, Josh Powell, and DJ Mbenga have been replaced by Ratliff, Barnes and Blake. Add in that Boston's "Big Three" will be even older (and that JO & Shaq aren't helping in that department much), and IMO the Lakers have put even more distance between themselves and Boston.

I think that is all moot though as I don't see the Celtics beating Miami this year. Hell, Boston might not even beat Chicago or Orlando. Meanwhile out West things have just gotten easier for the Back to Back Champs, as nobody in the West improved at all, except for the Lakers, while a few of the teams nipping at their heels instead got worse. If everyone stays healthy it'll almost surely be Miami and LA in The Finals next year.

Anonymous JJ said...
I don't think Boston will make it out of the East either. Last year was definitely their last chance unless a miracle happens (Something like Orlando sending over Howard for a few draft picks. But NBA GMs don't make ridiculously lopsided trades like shipping over a young All-Star big man for practically nothing. Hmm, wait a minute...) Anyway, at some point, the Big Three are simply just too old. A good example was during the Finals when Garnett who seemed healthy and skillful enough to school Gasol, yet didn't have the legs to keep it up or grab more than a rebound or two.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Driving and kicking/finishing is Rondo's whole game on offense. Lebron dealt with the same thing last year so he was forced to take a lot more jumpers with Shaq in the paint. Thing is, his jumper passable/above average on a normal basis. Rondo's jumper remains abysmal.

But I do feel we are overstating Shaq a bit much. He's a 2nd string center until February and then he's a 3rd string center. My actual problem is i cannot EVER imagine his massive ego accepting that. He could tear that team apart

Blogger Evil Ted said...
TransINSANO - I know 'Sheed was insurance, but they'll need new insurance next year without him. Perhaps Geico.

Yams - We're a couple of homers trying to politely duke it out. No reason to do anything but see how the changes pan out. I still think Shaq will be a factor on a team that was horrible in rebounding, and had an anemic second unit. Shaq = Theo Ratliff? Really?

Nobody thought, or had any right to think, Boston would come out of the East last year, which they'd have likely done three years in a row without the KG injury.

It appears all of our opinions are based on how we each hope it plays out... we shall see...

Blogger Wild Yams said...
ET - If Shaq and Ratliff are both sitting on the bench, then yes, they do equal each other. It's a simple fact: third stringers don't play unless it's spot minutes or garbage time. Theo Ratliff won't be playing at all because on the Lakers those center minutes go to Bynum and Gasol and that's it. If Perkins and JO are both healthy, where are there gonna be minutes for Shaq?

So like I said: the signing is a non-issue.

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
Kazam - I think Shaq's ego can be kept in check playing with other veterans he respects like Pierce, Allen, and KG. It's like some old boys club, and he strangely belongs, unlike the mismatch of age and talent we saw in Phoenix and Cleveland. Of course, I'm counting on Doc overvaluing Shaq and playing him a lot like Mike Brown did, except in this case I think it could actually work.

ET - I meant Sheed was more than just the insurance policy in that game, he outperformed his role and maybe even what a healthy Perkins would've given the Celtics in that game. As you pointed out, Perk isn't exactly irreplaceable.

ET/Yams - As for the Shaq vs. Ratliff debate... can't believe I just typed that. Speaking as a Lakers homer myself, in a perfect world I would have much rather had Shaq for the money the Celtics got him for. Imagine the Lakers being able to empty their bench and have Blake, Brown, Barnes, Odom, and Half-A-Shaq on the floor. That's one hell of bench unit! Unfortunately, Shaq's history with the team and the egos involved would be too volatile, so Ratliff and Shaq were matched with the right clubs.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It's not mine, but the best name I've heard so far is "The Big Minimum"

Blogger Dan B. said...
"The Big Minimum." That's fantastic.

Blogger Cortez said...
"but he's not gonna be running all over to set them"

Perkins movements is being highly exaggerated. There are only 24 seconds in an offensive possession, Shaq can set the exact same screens Perkins sets. Shaq's problem is that he wants the ball so he isn't even thinking about setting screens. That's primarily a coaching issue. Perkins and Shaq have the exact same faults in the pick and roll.

"but he really doesn't offer much on offense any more."

Relative to himself, that is. I'd take him over more than half the bums I can think of that play center right off the top of my head.

...and I don't even like him that much!

"Nobody thought, or had any right to think, Boston would come out of the East last year"

I did. I even said so right here and even explained why!


"...Cleveland is playing with same bums who I've been watching for the past 6 or 7 years accomplish nothing of note with various other teams. When the playoffs start you'll see why their starting SG didn't cut it in the league until past his 30th birthday."

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Put me in the camp of "this is going to be a disaster". Did you guys *see* Shaq in the playoffs? He has nothing left. Nothing. I've seen fridges stuck in quicksand move faster.

Today's sign of impending disaster:

"Shaq believes he will get the starting nod over Jermaine O’Neal in Boston as Kendrick Perkins rehabs from his knee injury."

Does KG have enough fire left to bitch-slap the Big Creaky back into line when his even-bigger-than-his-fat-ass ego starts pissing all over the locker room? Only time will tell, but I vote a resounding "no".

This is Allen Iverson in Memphis all over again.

Anonymous caseta said...

Celtics' fans trying to talk themselves into thinking signing Shaq is a coup.

Wait till he starts asking for touches.

And, believe it or not, the other O'Neal kinda has the same problem: still thinks he's a star.

Plus, if you put KG's intensity next to Shaq's laziness it might be like putting matter and anti-matter together.

Wonder if KG has the guts to call Shaq out and scream at him. KG's been a bully his entire career, picking on smaller/less-important players, so I don't think he'll work up the courage to call Shaq out, but I'd really like him doing that. Shaq needs to be called out and I'd like to see KG get his ass kicked.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
So we've now compared Shaq to Ratliff and Iverson, and Boston to Memphis. Bring on the rhetoric.

Taking minimum money is already the sign that Shaq will keep himself in line. And even if he doesn't, so what? Who cares if he expects to start? His "celebrity" has faded enough where the dumb things he has to say don't shake the Earth like they used to - particularly on a team of grizzled veterans. And frankly, he doesn't say much worth listening to nowadays, and what he does say, he mumbles incoherently.

It's a great fit, because this is the team where what's left of his ego can do the least damage.

Worst case scenario: He can't contribute, gets ignored, and sits on the bench.

He doesn't have to be a savior. He just has to let Doc use him sparingly as Doc sees fit.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
Shaq will get more minutes than Jermaine against slow it down teams (Orlando, Houston) and will hardly see the court against go-go-go teams like Phoenix/Miami. He will also have one of those throwback games once in a blue moon and even at his current stage of decomposition is a far more potent offensive threat and foul generating machine than anyone else playing his position in Boston.

If he keeps the bitching to a minimum he will definitely be a positive addition. I see him less as a third string center and more as sharing the 2nd string. The more important question is, who do they pair him with? Playing him with Garnett is a natural fit, but playing him with Big Baby makes for an immobile and ground-bound front court, sliding Perk to the 4 for even a few minutes would be even worse, Jermaine can only "play" the 5 at this point in his career, Rasheed is gone and Harangody is even slower than Shaq. Garnett and Shaq seem like the only natural pairing and I definitely don't think Shaq will be on the court much this season without him.

Anonymous gebwel said...
slightly OT, but here's an article from yahoo that questions shaq's claim as the most dominant ever:;_ylt=ArpzU24hRyKAj3FE8y5DKNXYrYZ4?urn=nba-259688

funny, a lot of people came to blast the writer as if he had killed their mothers. if shaq is truly the most dominant ever, how come he never topped 30 ppg or led the league in rebs or blocks? (something that even ben wallace achieved)

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
"Worst case scenario: He can't contribute, gets ignored, and sits on the bench.

He doesn't have to be a savior. He just has to let Doc use him sparingly as Doc sees fit."

Yes, but this is Shaq we're talking about, not a veteran who realizes his star has faded and knows his place. I think if you expect him to meekly accept whatever limited role the Celtics give him, you must be talking about a different player. And there are - albeit, not catastrophic - repercussions:

a) A circus/distraction eagerly fed by the Boston media and rabid New England sports fans

b) If it doesn't work out and they cut him, it was a missed opportunity to sign a player that was more physically useful, mentally stable, and doesn't suffer under the delusion that he's still an All-Star

Also, @ET, your home basket - and automatic ball-returning practice net - are sick. I'm jealous. Great video.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
I dunno. Sure, Shaq isn't what he used to be, but I agree with Cortez's statement that we are all comparing Shaq to Young Shaq, which is unfair. Compare anyone to young Shaq and they look like crap.

If we compare Shaq to NBA East centers, however... (lemme think here: Anderson Varejao, Andrew Bogut, Joakim Noah, D. Howard, Zydrunis, E. Okafor, uh... Dalembert? uh... uh... Horford... aaaaaand, that's all I got off the top of my head):

Shaq can beat the hell out of every one of those guys except for maybe Howard. Sure they can try to run the floor because Shaq is slow. But that doesn't mean Shaq isn't still an immovable object out there.

So if Boston finds themselves in need of a big rebound or needs to put the opposing center in foul trouble, why not turn Shaq loose?

The man STILL IS over 7' and pushing 400lbs. You can't call someone like that "a non-issue".

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I don't know how many other ways I can say it: signing Shaq is a non-issue cause when Perkins and JO are healthy Shaq will be firmly planted on the bench. Who cares how big he is, what his history has been, how he compares to anyone else in the league, etc? If he's the 3rd string player at a position he won't get playing time. That's why you can compare him to someone like Theo Ratliff, cause both guys are the over the hill 3rd string centers for teams who really don't need them except in case of an emergency. Now granted, the C's have an "emergency" right away cause Perkins is still recovering, but once he's healthy, then what? There go Shaq's minutes. That's why, unlike TransINSANO, I'm fine with the fact that LA didn't try to pick up Shaq for the minimum, cause when LA puts in their second unit, they always have either Bynum or Gasol in there alongside Odom, so whoever that next guy in line is doesn't really matter much (and as others have pointed out, Shaq getting no PT could potentially lead to a lot of chemistry issues depending on how well he handles that).

But like I said, it's not a bad signing for Boston, cause unless Shaq does turn into Iverson in Memphis when his minutes get slashed, then it's really a no-lose situation. However, unless Boston is looking to trade Perkins (which I guess is possible, though I don't know how smart it would be), the Celtics signing Shaq is just someone to help fill in Perkins' minutes until he returns in January. After that, he'll be a non-issue.

Blogger David said...

I think you're overstating JO. Shaq had a better overall season than JO last year, and JO just finished putting up one of the worst playoff series of all time.

I know they signed JO first, but in the end, I think Shaq will outplay him and become the second center off the bench.

A problem for Boston - Both JO And Shaq are injury time bombs waiting to go off. It's only a matter of time before both of those guys end up hurt at the same time, IMO.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Shaq effectively burned 5 bridges.

Orlando - Leaving for L.A. and trashing Penny

L.A. - Kobe. V. Shaq, being 450 pounds during the 04 season with payton Malone

Miami - Game started to deteriorate and after being traded to the Suns, dissed Ricky Davis (not a bad thing) and Chris Quinn. Completely half assed last season in Miami and demanded touches at a time where he wasn't as effective

Suns - Padded stats at the expense of the entire offense. Stole Steve Nash's TV show

Cavs - Not exactly a burnt bridge but hey he promised the King a Ring then bolted the next season

so why does shit change in Boston? He took the minimum because he didn't want to be out of the league. He'll open his yap sooner or later and it will be a detriment to the team watch.

Blogger Cortez said...
"That's why you can compare him to someone like Theo Ratliff"

Really, Theo Ratliff?

Theo Ratliff would slap his mother in the face with a dildo if it would get him the numbers Shaq had last year.

Now that I look at it Shaq's shitty numbers from last year [last year!] are the apex of Ratliff's entire career (yikes!).

Here is my prediction. JO is the one the become the 3rd string center/bench warmer while Perkins and Shaq play the same role within the Celtics scheme.

Blogger Cortez said...
"so why does shit change in Boston?"

Or when does he state that Paul Pierce and/or Ray Allen are the best perimeter players that he has EVER(!) played with?

Anonymous The Other Chris said...

Hahaha.. In the next two weeks?

Also who will win the stupidest/whiniest twitter award between The Drain and Creaky? I'll bet on The Drain.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Yams: put down the flame thrower, and back away slowly. You'd think I insulted your Lakers or something. Man. It's Friday, guy. Come on- let's hug it out. Come on. Come oooooon... (/awkward man-hug). There! I feel better. Don't you?

So, yeah. Anyways, if Shaq were a non-issue, nobody would be talking about him (see: Ratliff, Theo). I'm just saying that he can still come out on the floor and push other centers around for a few minutes and help his team. And at 7'8" and 450lbs, he can do that effectively.

Moreover, you're making a rather large assumption in saying that he just won't get any minutes down the road. If he doesn't, then, OK, he's a non-issue. But I think he will, and with the way injuries have plagued all 3 of Boston's centers, it's a total crap-shoot that could end in him getting 25min a game. Who knows? Maybe the C's treat him like PHX and don't play him on back-to-backs.


Regardless, I think you're all missing the REAL weapon the C's will trot out: VON WAFER. I'm saying it right now: Wafer is going supernova this season. Watch out for the Wafer/Robinson/Davis/O'Neil/O'Neil lineup.


Blogger AnacondaHL said...
AK Dave - If you haven't been noticing around the rest of the dregs of the Internet (not blaming you if ya haven't), Lakers fans are p much unanimously getting their panties in a bunch over this Shaq move. Apparently, as we see here, even the more "level-headed" ones.

I wouldn't mind another Lakers-Celtics showdown for the 2011 title, beacause either way the end result would be hilarious.

That said, I'm still rooting for the Thunder. I will buy Kevin Durant some fruit snacks if his team wins this title.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
AnacondaHL / AKD - Agreed. There's a lot of electronic ink being spilled over Mr. "non-issue."

Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I guess it's possible that Shaq would become the 2nd stringer and JO would become the 3rd stringer, but then why did the Celtics immediately go after JO with the full MLE while waiting for over a month to finally decided to take on Shaq for just the vet minimum? If they really wanted Shaq more, wouldn't they have, you know, pursued him at all?

My "panties are in a bunch" simply because my one point is that Shaq probably won't play very much, and nobody's really responding to that, instead saying "his stats were better than Ratliff's" or stuff about how great he'll be on the court, how he's not washed up, etc. None of that stuff matters if the guy ain't getting in the games.

Once Perkins is healthy, and assuming the C's don't trade him, what do you guys who are loving this signing envision the rotation is gonna be like for Boston at the center spot? Will Perkins, JO and Shaq be a platoon at the 5 with each guy getting approximately 16 minutes per game? Will Perkins start and then sometimes one of those two will play backup minutes while the other sits, and then the next game it'll be reversed or something? How will having three centers work minutes-wise?

I mean, I'll give you that when they're on the court, Shaq will be better than Theo Ratliff, but how often is that even gonna happen? Last year the Lakers' 3rd string center, DJ Mbenga, averaged 7 minutes a game and didn't play in 33 games at all, and since Gasol and Bynum are still there, I see no reason for why Ratliff should average more. Last year for the Celtics they didn't even have a 3rd string center, with Perkins averaging 27 mintes a game and Rasheed getting 22 per (though Scalabrine averaged 9 minutes/game in the 52 he actually played in).

Once Perkins comes back, assuming he's healthy, won't he be getting roughly 25 minutes a game again? So who gets the other 23? If Shaq's getting almost all of those, then OK, he's not "a non-issue" (although then JO is a non-issue). But I'd have to think that because Boston made far more of an effort to get JO, that he'll be getting most of those minutes, and in that case, who cares what Shaq contributes if he's only playing 5-10 minutes a game? He can hold down the fort for a few minutes at the start of the 2nd quarter every 4th game or he can be The Big Victory Cigar. Great, what an impact.

Like I said, I don't expect Boston to be able to overcome Miami anyway, and since I root for LA none of this is really gonna matter (but it's August and what the hell else do we have to talk about?). My reaction is just to Celtics fans thinking that signing a guy that really nobody else wanted (and for good reason) to be the 3rd stringer should be treated accordingly, whether the guy used to be a Hall of Fame talent or not.

tl;dr - A guy who doesn't play can't put you over the top.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

We're talking about the same Shaq that played 23mpg, and had 12.0pts and 6.7rebs per game last season right? Not some other Shaq that was actually benched for the whole season/postseason when the team was healthy?

And now, without being injured, you predict that he goes straight from 12/7 and 23mpg to zero minutes per game?


Look, your whole point is that he won't get PT once Perkins is healthy. That argument is based on the (somewhat questionable) assumption that he is the "3rd string center" on that team. Well, sorry, but if we're picking teams right now, are you really picking JO over Shaq? Really? REALLY? REALLY REALLY???

Anywho, no point arguing further. You think Shaq is the 3rd stringer, I think he can help the team enough to earn 20mpg and put up 10 and 6 and help match up against big centers. Or something like that.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
" if we're picking teams right now, are you really picking JO over Shaq? Really? REALLY? REALLY REALLY???"

Am I missing something? Maybe I'm mistaken but, uh, didn't the Boston Celtics just pick JO over Shaq? I mean, when free agency opened, the Celtics went right for JO and offered him the most money they could. Shaq was available at that time, btw, and rather than offer him the MLE money they gave to JO, or even the vet min money they just gave to him, they instead offered him... nothing. Nada. They let him sit there, and showed exactly zero interest in him.

Then after six weeks went by and nobody else showed any interest in him, did they aggressively go after him and offer to trade Sheed's contract to Cleveland for a signed and traded Shaq? Nope. They just kept waiting. Eventually they offered him the least amount possible and he said yes (cause nobody else had offered him anything yet). So now I ask you: didn't Boston just pick JO over Shaq? It sure seems that way to me. So yes, once again, it would appear to me that Shaq is the 3rd string center once Perkins returns. Unless Danny Ainge's master plan all along was to gamble that Shaq could be had for the minimum, with the big payoff being that they could be paying their 3rd string center (JO, apparently) $12 million over the next two years to hold down a chair at the end of the bench.

Gee, I wonder why I might think Boston could have Shaq slated for that 3rd string center spot. Whatever could have given me that idea?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
BTW, I'm not the only one who seems to think JO will be slotted ahead of Shaq with the Celtics. Jeff Clark (who runs Celticsblog) has this to say about it:

Also, lets get past this debate right away. The other O'Neal is the opening night starter. Look no further than their paychecks to see who is valued more. And I fully expect Kendrick to be the starter when he's back to 100% (or close enough to it).

It makes sense too. There's a reason Shaq didn't get any offers from anyone else (except maybe Atlanta?). Like Tom Haberstroh tweeted last week:

LeBron with Shaq last year: Cavs +3.4 pts per possession. LeBron without Shaq? +15.7. That experiment was fun wasn't it?

Shaq will be 39 in a few months while JO will only be 32 (even though both are past their primes), so it makes sense that the Celtics would value JO more. Shaq's a big name, but what he gives you on the court these days is questionable, possibly even detrimental. He could have started or been a backup on a lot of teams out there, but with the Celtics he's a 3rd stringer.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Blah blah blah.

Jermaine O'Neil:
Season: 28min, 13.6pts, 6.9rebs
Playoffs: 23mim, 4.2pts, 5.6rebs

Season: 23min, 12.0pts, 6.7rebs
Playoffs: 22min, 11.5pts, 5.5rebs

Gee, sorry for not seeing the CLEAR advantage there.

Have a nice day.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Maybe I'm mistaken but, uh, didn't the Boston Celtics just pick JO over Shaq?"

Looks to me like they picked BOTH of them.

You're assuming an awful lot about management things that you couldn't possibly have any real and/or factual insight into.

Like AK Dave said...

"23mpg, and had 12.0pts and 6.7rebs [plus he shot 55%!]"

I changed my mind. Theo Ratliff would actually KILL his mother for that type of production.

The Celtics don't play the same style that the Cavs play and their players, overall, are far better than those bums on the Cavaliers.

JO is a fucking hump. Shaq was just as effective as JO last year. Shaq will be in the mix (despite pay) because. 39 he's still

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Cortez I agree with Shaq probably saying something stupid about Pierce and Allen being the best perimeter players he's ever been with but no way Jermaine O'neal becomes a 3rd string center with the money they paid him

Honestly, I dont think Perkins will be healthy this whole year even when he comes back. Effectively I think he's out for the season and should be. That way Shaq can at least get his minutes

Blogger Wild Yams said...
"You're assuming an awful lot about management things that you couldn't possibly have any real and/or factual insight into."

OK then, let's hear your explanation. Gimme your take on why Danny Ainge would begin the free agency period by immediately offering all the money they could to a guy they considered a backup plan just in case someone else out there was willing to offer Shaq more than the league minimum. Tell me why if the Celtics felt like Shaq was their guy, and he was the best fit, why they waited over a month to pursue him at all?

Anonymous Gabe said...
I have to disagree with saying that both O'Neals are an upgrade over Perkins. Individually both of them are more talented than Perkins. But what makes Perkins so great for the Celtics is how he knows his role and how well he fits in with the Celtics on a lot of the little things.

Perk defends the low post better than the Drain, and defends the mid-post and the pick and roll much better than Shaq. Perk also sets fantastic screens for mostly Ray Allen and Rondo. The Drain and Shaq demand the ball in the mid-post and the low post respectively, but neither of them are consistent scorers. In fact they tend to halt their teams offensive productivity when they're out there. The Drain keeps shooting mid-range jumpshots but I've yet to see him make one since 2005. Perk is horrible offensively, but he sticks with what he can do, setting screens and crashing the glass. In fact, I think Rondo needs to stop drilling Perkins 150 MPH passes whenever he drives the lane, it makes Perk look even worse around the basket than he already is. The Drain can be a positive presence on the floor if you don't give him the ball in the mid or low post, because he is very capable defensively still. Shaq is a liability on both ends, and putting him on the court is just going to cause problems for the Celtics. Plus we have to consider the locker room personality, we know Shaq can be trouble but it seems like the Drain could be trouble as well. We know Perkins would never be that guy.

Anonymous Mladen said...
I'm with Yams on this one. I also don't quite understand how you guys keep quoting stats (BTW, ignoring that very interesting stat that Yams himself mentioned: +15.7 without Shaq), and ranting how Shaq is better than any of these other guys, and how you would pick him over them. Are you just desperately trying to piss him off? Are you trolling?

WV: "hylibuff" - Shaq used to be hylibuff, but now he's mostly lard.

Anonymous Shiv said...

Shaq is/was the Most Dominant Ever. It's subjective. During the 2001 playoffs when the Lakers swept everyone but the 76ers, there was noone in the league who could stop Shaq. Yeah you can say what you want about stats and fitness and so on, but the Lakers won simply because there was no one to stop Shaq, except in one game. And the list of people who tried includes, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Chris Webber, Vlade Divac and Dikembe Mutombo. Them's some of the best big men in the league of all time, most of them in their prime, at both ends of the floor and yet there was simply nothing they could do to slow Shaq down or get going against him. Nothing. He simply dominated. I don't care whether he took half the season off, heck the Spurs have been doing the same thing this entire decade, but he dominated when it mattered. I can admit this despite being a Shaq hater. I hate his game. Hate watching him play. Hate his attitude. But I respect what he did.

"when LA puts in their second unit, they always have either Bynum or Gasol in there alongside Odom"

Bwahahaha! I think you overestimate Bynum's ability to "always" be available, as you do with The Drain.

RE: Battle of the O'Neals
How did Jermaine O'neal somehow become a more viable option than Shaq? I think everyone is overestimating The Drain's ability to stay healthy/produce consistently/play defense better than The Big Minimum. Sure, Shaq will be a bigger headcase and The Drain is younger, but this is some kinda lemming-ism going on here. I see the O'neals splitting time evenly and the starter only being decided after training camp and depending on who comes to camp less out-of-shape.

Anonymous Gabe said...
Lol, the Big Minimmum, I love it.

The Drain plays much better D than the Shaq. Its not even close. Health will be a wash, and offensively it will be a wash as well. Not because Shaq isn't the better offensive player, cuz he is. But because he clogs up your spacing if you don't dump it down to him in the low post, and he's not effective enough to make that a go-to option every play down the floor. Or at all in my opinion.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Shiv - Of course that's a good point. As a huge Laker fan believe me I am not one to ever assume Bynum will be healthy. I usually assume the opposite. So in that case, Ratliff may have some value to the Lakers, not that in any way he'll be able to in any way replicate what Bynum can do. Nevertheless, with the last two years and Bynum being hurt the Lakers won titles with Josh Powell and DJ Mbenga filling in, and I have to think that Ratliff, even at 37, may be an upgrade over those guys. If everyone stays healthy though, Ratliff's role will be waving a towel on the bench while he cheers on his teammates.

And it's gonna be the same for Shaq (or JO) if Perkins comes back healthy. I can't think of any 3-man rotation at one position where someone didn't get shafted minutes-wise. Some might say that JO could slide over and play some minutes at PF, but then that creates a 3-man rotation there with KG and Big Baby. Fully healthy the Celtics have 5 guys for 2 positions in their frontcourt, and that's at least one too many (for regular rotation minutes). You can only cut down players' minutes so far before you risk never giving them enough to get into any kind of rhythm.

There's an interesting post over on CelticsHub about this very discussion, and which O'Neal will get the start on opening night. Apparently Shaq didn't go to Atlanta because the Hawks wouldn't give him the starting position over All Star starter Al Horford, so Shaq went to Boston instead. That seems to imply that maybe Boston has given Shaq an indication that he may be starting for them; but then again I'd have to wonder why the hell Danny Ainge signed JO to a 2 year $12 million deal. If Boston was gonna trade Perkins to make room for these two new centers, then the JO signing makes sense... but why would you trade an entering his prime, key cog from a championship team when his stock will be lowest (coming off an injury) just to go with two end of their career guys instead? Mainly I'm just confused about what Boston's real plan is here. It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Yams - Way overthinking the order of who was signed and for how much. The Celtics took JO early because they were desperate: teams were all making moves, free agents were flying all over, and Shaq wanted premium dough so he was not going to happen. Time passed and Shaq fell into their laps. Nobody was willing to pay premium bucks, including the C's, and when they eventually realized they wouldn't have to, they signed him.

Nobody knows how well Perk will rebound (no pun intended) from the injury, so it's a crap shoot on who starts. But what they have now is choices, and not took-a-guy-off-the-street choices, legit choices.

It's up to Doc to use his bigs as he wishes, and he's not going to be thinking "hmmm, well, this guy makes more money and we signed him first, so I guess he needs to start." I could easily see Shaq starting, and if he performs, he could do so after Perk returns. Doc will assess chemistry and go from there.

And what's with all the talk about who's going to get "minutes"? Things could change from night to night, with a different look starting lineup depending on the opponent (expect Shaq to start against the Magic, at least in the first half of the season, for example). Having too much talent or too many choices will be a "problem" I'm sure the Celts will love having next year, especially after watching their anemic second unit play.

I will say this, the sheer volume of chatter I've read about how much of a non-issue signing this is, is starting to make me think it's kind of a big deal.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
ET - Regarding the "volume of chatter", consider it's August and there literally is nothing else to talk about. If this was November it would be a passing blip and that's it. For everything else, you could be right, I guess we'll wait and see.

The only thing I'd disagree with is the minutes and why that's important. I think it's key for every coach and team to figure out a rotation and for players to have enough minutes to get rhythm and confidence. Keeping everyone guessing as to who's gonna play when, where and for how long is not a good way to build any sense of on court chemistry, and I think Doc knows this. I expect at some point, maybe not till late in the season, Boston will develop a rotation and somebody's gonna be assed out. But maybe that'll be better for the team, I dunno. I'm just curious who's gonna get the shaft over there.

I don't think it'll really matter though (I can't imagine Miami not coming out of the East this year), but it's something to think about during the dog days of the offseason to keep me entertained :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
As I see it, there is zero chance Shaq will be the third-string center gathering dust on the bench. At 38 and wider than Big Baby, he is still the best low post option on the Celtics and amazingly, still a top ten low post option in the league. He is going to have a valuable place in their offense.

The way they run their offense, distributing touches to everyone, Shaq is going to have enough opportunities. This is a team that let Kendrick Perkins, again Kendrick Perkins!!, thump his way three or four times a game on the low block. Admittedly, he was pretty successful early in the year only to drop off as his knees acted up and teams started doubling team him to his utter helplessness. But still, the point is that a team that with Garnett, Pierce, Allen and Rondo took time out to feature Perkins a few times. They're going to be alright with giving Shaq shots. Rasheed also most likely retiring frees up shots as well. Do people realize that he averaged more shots per minute than Pierce, Allen and Rondo? He did a lot of chucking and after he struggled mightily from three, a lot that chucking from the post, where he wasn't that successful.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I'm late to this one, but...

OK then, let's hear your explanation. Gimme your take on why Danny Ainge would begin the free agency period by immediately offering all the money they could to a guy they considered a backup plan just in case someone else out there was willing to offer Shaq more than the league minimum. Tell me why if the Celtics felt like Shaq was their guy, and he was the best fit, why they waited over a month to pursue him at all?

Here's my best guess for why the C's chose The Drain over The Big Minimum:


The Drain will play center most of the time, but he can play PF in a pinch. That's why the C's went after Rasheed so hard last summer. He can play C and PF. The C's obviously need PF insurance in case Garnett gets injured and has to miss time. They don't want Big Baby to be the only guy they have at that position.

Shaq, obviously, would not be able to fill in for Garnett in case of injury. O'Neal could. He had more utility to the Celtics for that reason.

Once the C's had that flexibility locked up, getting Shaq at the minimum was a no-brainer bargain deal.

Anonymous gebwel said...

sure, shaq was the most dominant in the early 2000s, but ever? NAH. the most dominant ever would probably never lost a finals series, let alone being swept (as hakeem did to shaq in '95). the most dominant ever would at least led the league in rebounding or shotblocking once (as many other great centers did). also, the most dominant ever should dominate the league when guys like robinson, olajuwon, ewing and mourning are still playing at their prime, not when they're over the hill (as in the 90s). to make an example of the lakers' 3-peat as proof his dominance simply wasnt enough.