Here are the latest updates on several players as the Celtics prepare for a rematch with the Miami Heat tonight at 8:00pm.
Shaq In, Jermaine Out
From Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston:
Boston Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal participated in Thursday's morning shootaround and said he expected to be in the lineup against the Miami Heat, while Jermaine O'Neal said his sore left knee showed virtually no improvement and is pondering sitting out the remainder of Boston's four-game road trip.
Forsberg noted that, while each player is being listed as a "game-time decision", we can be pretty certain that Shaq will play and Jermaine will not.
This whole injury mess certainly isn't an ideal situation, but at least the Celtics have had one of the O'Neals in every game they've played thus far. Based on how things have worked in the past, it wouldn't shock me to see Shaq have some sort of minute restriction tonight (although, he only averaged 20.7 minutes in the three games he played in earlier this season). The Celtics can certainly use him up front though, as it's becoming clearer and clearer that Miami's greatest weak spot is its front line.
Hit the jump for an important update on Semih Erden's injured left shoulder.
Semih Will Eventually Need Shoulder Surgery
The list of injured Celtics big men continues to grow and grow. As if it wasn't bad enough having Kendrick Perkins and the O'Neals miss time due to injury, Doc Rivers revealed that Semih Erden's injured left shoulder will eventually require surgery.
Doc stressed that the team is basically just trying to endure until Perkins returns early next year (Perk said he plans on playing before the All-Star break). Based on Doc's comments, it sounds like Erden's surgery can be put off until Perk returns, and maybe even the end of the season. I suppose we can only hope the issue doesn't grow worse, forcing Erden to miss time.
Doc also noted that, if both of the O'Neals are ever unable to play (whether it be tonight or down the road), he'd most likely insert Erden into the starting lineup, preferring to keep bringing Glen Davis off of the bench.
Noah Still Running His Mouth
Joakim Noah doesn't like Kevin Garnett. I think this has already been established. But he keeps going. Here are his latest comments:
"Kevin Garnett will not -- will not -- get a Christmas gift from me," Noah said with a tinge of humor Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I don't like him."
"He's a very mean guy," Noah said Wednesday. "Where's the love? None at all. Ugly, too."
Allow me to be one of the first to say: Who cares? I'm willing to bet Kevin Garnett doesn't.