Last summer Boston went out and got two centers — the O’Neals, Shaquille and Jermaine — to get them through the first half of the season until Kendrick Perkins returns. And Perk is only a couple weeks away, he continues to say he is targeting Feb. 4 for a return.
But there are games between now and then, and Shaq is going to miss some of them because of his sore hip.
Shaq is expected to miss the Celtics home game against Cleveland Tuesday and also the road game against Portland Thursday (in the battle of centerless teams), according to a tweet from Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston.
But two games is the optimistic scenario — he could miss games after that including against the Suns and then the Sunday showdown with the Lakers. You know Shaq wants to be back for that one.
On a different note, Marquis Daniels may miss Tuesday night’s game as he is dealing with a family issue.
With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).
Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.
It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.
The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).
Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.
Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.
His swagger certainly remains intact.