Celtics shut Jermaine O'Neal down for rest of the week

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JO'Neal_Boston.jpgJermaine O’Neal has been penciled in as the Celtics starting center with Kendrick Perkins still recovering. But he will not be the starter this week in the team’s first two exhibition games.

O’Neal has a tight left hamstring and because this preseason nobody smart plays through injuries in the preseason. That means he will miss the first two games for the Celtics this week, according to Doc Rivers as reported by ESPNBoston.

O’Neal tried to say he was day-to-day and could go, but did we mention this is preseason? Sit down and rest it. Hamstrings are lingering annoyances. Rest it. Get it right now so it’s not bugging you in mid-November.

So Shaq will get some starts and some game burn getting used to the Celtics defensive systems (we’ll see how much he freelances, as is his tendency).

The other minor injury at Celtics camp was DeLonte West, but he really is day-to-day. He will play this week.

Players’ union, NBA to set up cardiac screening for retired players

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First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.

Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.

The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.

Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”

“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”

The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.

It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.

I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.


Stephen Curry drops 30 on Portland in preseason (VIDEO)

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Somebody is in midseason form.

Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.

Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.