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Doc Rivers says Shaq may not return until playoffs

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Okay Boston fans, now you can start to really worry.

Doc Rivers pushed the timeline back for Shaq’s return from an Achilles tendon injury again, this time maybe as far back as the start of the playoffs, friend of the site A. Sherrod Blakely reports at CSN New England. (He also notes the Celtics have apparently been learning from the Bill Belichick injury reports.)

“I really hope we can get him before the playoffs,” said Rivers, who added that the injury is starting to “get close to bleeding” into the teams’ postseason plans.

While the C’s maintain there hasn’t been any setback, they do say it has taken longer to heal than anticipated (isn’t that a setback?)….

“The good thing with him is that he’s still big and strong,” Rivers said. “But that (not playing until the playoffs) would be difficult.”

This will certainly ramp up the complaints about the Kendrick Perkins trade.

The Celtics will get Jermaine O’Neal back, maybe as Thursday night against the Spurs. He will be asked to be the defensive anchor until Shaq returns. Whenever that is.

Markieff Morris flips off Suns fan (video)

Phoenix Suns' Markieff Morris reacts to a call during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
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Markieff Morris‘ frustrations last night didn’t end with his scuffle with teammate Archie Goodwin. They didn’t end with the Suns’ loss to the Warriors, either.

As Morris was leaving the court, a fan heckled him: “Markieff, you f—ing suck. I can’t wait until you’re traded.” Though Morris probably agrees with the second sentence, he flipped off the fan:

Though it’s difficult to confirm that video was from last night, it jibes with a previous report of the incident.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7

Morris will likely at least be fined. Considering his previous behavioral problems this season – he threw a towel at Jeff Hornacek – I wouldn’t completely rule out a suspension. But a fine seems most likely.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.