Jermaine 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.