Upon hearing that Jermaine O'Neal was going to miss last night's game, the immediate and understandable impulse is to roll your eyes and say "yup, it was only a matter of time." In truth, I'm assuming that we're on borrowed time with him too. But apparently he was feeling well enough to play and got the DNP-CDWTI (did not play, coach's decision with trainer input).
"It’s not an injury. I got here with intentions of playing and [team trainer] Ed Lacerte went through the regular routine of my pregame [workout] and I was still sore," O'Neal said. "He preferred for me not to play. I came to the arena with thoughts and intentions that I was playing, but he had a conversation with [coach] Doc [Rivers] and sometimes players get trumped. "It’s not a hamstring pull or anything like that. In fact, I’ll be ready to go come Wednesday."
"It’s not bad," Rivers said. "(Trainer) Eddie (Lacerte) just came to me and suggested that he not play. He didn’t say no, he can’t play. But with the hamstring you don’t want to take any chances, and JO has been doing so well, we figured he could get a rest tonight, tomorrow and then maybe play the next game."
That's good, because he was playing very well recently and the team is better with him in there than without (outstanding Stiemer performances not withstanding).
I think you are going to see a lot of these coach's decisions on the 2nd night of a back to back - even with some of the other "healthy" starters.
On a related note: Paul Pierce mentioned that he's only at 80% or so. He looks good, but I wouldn't be too surprised to see him get a DNP one of these days just for rest and recovery.
Related: Rest might help KG - CSNNE
CSNNE.com is the website for Comcast SportsNet New England. CSNNE.com provides comprehensive local professional sports coverage for New England. CSNNE.com has local sports news, scores, blogs and video covering the Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins. Let him rest his legs on the second leg