balance bracelets Shaquille O'Neal

Shaq could be out until All-Star break

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Shaquille O’Neal couldn’t play against Orlando Sunday, when Boston could have used him to match up on Dwight Howard. He will not suit up Monday against the Bobcats, either.

And the Celtics might shut him down until the All-Star break, Doc Rivers said before Sunday’s game, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast New England (via twitter).

Shaq has had a hip issue, an Achilles’ injury and a number of other bumps and bruises. He has missed five of the Celtics last eight. Also out is Jermaine O’Neal who may not be back for a couple months.

With Kendrick Perkins back Boston may have Shaq miss the three games after Monday before the All-Star break — Boston’s MO has been to rest guys in the regular season to make sure they are ready for the playoffs. It would mean more burn for Semih Erden, and I think we all have been rooting for that (mostly for the comedy factor).

All that said said, one of those games Shaq would miss is against the Lakers. If there were one game he would want to be back for…

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.