Shaq says he just wants to win, will come off the bench to do it

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Shaq_Boston.jpgThere was nothing crazy from Shaquille O’Neal at his introductory press conference as a Celtic.

Wearing a bow tie was about the only unexpected thing he did at the event. Every word out of his mouth was what you want to hear if you’re a Celtics fan. Like, would he be willing to come off the bench?

“If that’s what it takes for us to win that’s fine with me.”

Or if he and Kendrick Perkins — who have had some physical battles over the years — can get along.

“We’ve had some battles. But that’s all over now because we’re teammates.”

Or if after a long search, one where he was looking for more money, he would be happy with a minimum deal with Boston?

“For me it was not really a tough decision to make, I just wanted to be with a great team, to continue to win.”

The concerns with Shaq in Boston were always less about on the court — although his legendary freelancing on defense and not sticking with the system could get interesting. Would he be a disruption to a solid locker room, or would he do and say the right things? Would he bring the circus to town around a team that has prided itself on focus?

One press conference really does not answer those questions. But Celtics fans have to like the way it started. Well, except for maybe the bow tie.

Kobe Bryant with spin move around LeBron James (VIDEO)

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The game itself went about how you’d expect one between a title contender and a high lottery team to go — the Cavaliers 120-111 win over the Lakers was never really in doubt.

But the fans in Cleveland wanted to see some vintage Kobe Bryant, and they got it late when he spun around LeBron James and hit the reverse lay-up.

LeBron had 29 points on the night, and Kyrie Irving had 35. Kobe finished with 17 and got a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Suns’ Markieff Morris, Archie Goodwin get in scuffle on the bench

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Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….

During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.

The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.

We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”

Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)

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This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.

And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.

Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.

Now this.

He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).

You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.

We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.