Shaq likely to start opening night
With Jermaine O’ Neal missing significant time in the pre-season with a hamstring injury and also likely to miss the rest of this week with the same injury, a starting center has to be found for opening night. The Celtics could do what they always have done when these issues occur by starting Glen Davis at 4 and Garnett at 5. The Celtics, most likely, will go with the idea that has scared me since July when this player was signed.
Wait, what’s that…. good god… could it be? It is! IT’S SHAQUILLE O’ NEAL’S MUSIC!
This idea puts the Fear of God into me. Look, Shaq is probably the right choice to start, but starting Shaq fuels the ego. The better starter for this team is Kendrick Perkins. He’s the better defender and the better pick and roll player on both offense and defense, which is vital to this team’s success. Shaq is the better offensive weapon, but at this stage in his career he is an average defender at best and isn’t the smoothest at the pick and roll game.
But Shaq’s ego. That’s a tough one. If he keeps starting, he starts to think he is the starter. Then, Perkins comes back, becomes starter again, and relegates Shaq deep to the bench. Shaq thinks he has to start though and starts sulking and playing worse when he actually does start to play. Laugh now because he is saying all the right things, but Shaq has always said the right things with a new team and every time the situation has ended ugly. There is no other option tonight, but I hope this doesn’t last for too long before something bad happens in January.