Bad news today regarding Thursday's game. Both Shaq and JO have chronic injuries that will likely never leave either player entirely, let alone improve with any kind of real progress this season. Get used to comments like the following:
Speaking to reporters before Boston's offday practice session Wednesday morning at the American Airlines Arena, Rivers hedged his bets on whether either O'Neal will suit up. At least one has played in every game this season, but never both (Shaq played the first three games; Jermaine O'Neal the last five).
What Rivers did know was that Shaq, sidelined with a right knee bruise sustained in a win over the Knicks last month, was set to test his knee at the session, while Jermaine O'Neal planned to sit out the practice.
"No, I have no idea [about Thursday]," said Rivers. "J.O. will not practice [Wednesday] and Shaq's going to try to do a little bit [Wednesday] to test it. I would say likely neither [will play Thursday]; Maybe out first adventure into the no-big world. But we'll see. Maybe both. Who knows?"
There are going to be nights when both of them are doubtful, and they both play, then there are going to be nights where both are doubtful, and neither play. The good news is that after the game tomorrow against Miami, there is a day of rest, then a game against Memphis. Doc is playing coy right now, but I imagine at least one of the two of them will play and get the start.
If neither O'Neal plays a very heavy burden falls upon Semih Erden and Glen Davis to have consistent if not exceptional games in order for the C's to have a shot at a W tomorrow.