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I must admit: I wasn't expecting big things when they signed him this summer.  To say my expectations have already been exceeded wouldn't even be an overstatement at this point.  I was anticipating him and Jermaine O'Neal to combine for a bit less than 95 games total and while Jermaine is doing his best to fulfill that prophecy, I've been thrilled with how seamlessly Shaquille O'Neal has fit in with the Celtics.  He's moving better out there than he did last season with Cleveland.    He's accepted his role to a tee.  And he's embraced the "Ubuntu" concept whole-heartedly.

I mean this when I say it (sorry FL!) but I believe he should remain in the starting lineup when Perk returns.  I'm no advocate of a player losing his spot because of an injury but the way I see it, unless Shaq gets injured, he should remain the starter.  Perk will be needed, specifically for Orlando and the Flakers, but Shaq's been great.  A rebirth beyond my wildest dreams.  He's doing this year what I expected Rasheed to do last year.  His offensive presence has been formidable.  His hands and ability to catch the bullet passes by Rajon and no-look feeds from KG has been admirable.  He's a factor in the paint and teams have to gameplan for his presence alone.

Perkins can and will get plenty of time still and with Glen Davis or Jermaine O'Neal and collectively, they should form the most imposing front line in the NBA.  And besides it really is more important who finishes the game (you'll notice Glen Davis this season generally finishes the game, not Shaq).

The Celtics are 15-4 right now and while a lot of credit goes to KG, Ray, Rajon and Paul, Shaq's gotta be mentioned.  This Celtic team is surpassing my expectations so far, and has allowed me to enjoy this season which I almost bypassed considering how last year ended.

Shaq's accepted his role of just playing and doing whatever the C's need in the way aging superstars so rarely do.  When he arrived I was anticipating a headache, a distraction, another ego for Doc to manage.  Almost 1/4th into the season and none of that is evident.  And I for one, am really impressed.

tb727 12/04/2010 01:00:00 PM Edit
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7 Responses so far.

  1. Three Toe says:

    I'm with you, Shaq is just a paint demon. So long as the refs' three-counts continue to be slower than the green line, I'm all for starting him. Perkins is still my favorite Celtic, you gotta go with what works. I can see starting Perkins against some of the more offense-minded centers in the league, but otherwise, I like Shaq in there.

    I also really like how Rivers is using him heavily at the beginning of games, to maximize his effect before giving him long rests. Get him in, get the points, and get him out. Keep him healthy for the post-season.

  2. tb727 says:

    Yeah and besides 3 toe if Bynum gets to camp out in the paint for 7 seconds vs teams why can't Shaq

  3. JR says:

    Shaq has exceeded my expectations both on and off the court as well.

    TB, I don't think FL will ever comment on or link your WTHHT's again. lol

  4. glitterchick says:

    Perk is our starting center-period. I was totally opposed to bringing in Shaq due to age,injuries,and money. I'm happy to say I was wrong. He's done a great job so far. It will be a long season though. You don't know how he'll hold up. It's great we have so much talent to choose from. It will be a big bonus for us come playoff time.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I really dont care who starts. As long as everybody accepts thier roles (as they always do in Boston), i dont care. They both are Great centers. Shaq has been surprisingly young looking.lol. Perk is our usual starter. doesnt really matter to me. Im sure Shaq wouldnt mind letting Perk take his starting spot though. Im sure it will all be up to what Doc wants.

  6. ThomasJ says:

    Great stuff TB! I've been thinking the same lately. I also think Shaq should keep starting and playing his 23 minutes a game (more or less depending on the situation) and let Perk back him up as he works into game shape and gains confidence in a knee that had major repairs.

    I really think Shaq must be having a great experience this season as a Celtic. Besides his coaching, Doc has really become a master of managing these veteran personalities/egos along with the younger guys. Rondo is hands down the best point guard Shaq has ever played with (aside from his 108 games with Nash in a situation that never really worked) and he does the best job of feeding the lumbering, non-jumping version of who is still an immovable, dominating physical force inside. KG is also as good an interior passer as Shaq has played with and it is pretty cool seeing these two vets with strong personalities clicking as teammates after all the years as western conference opponents.

    You have four sure HOFers along with a young pg who is building his own resume as the ultimate floor general and distributor for this group. Add a deep and talented bench and Shaq knows he can be part of a Boston banner with this historic team. What a sweet way to put an exclamation point on his great career.

  7. Bohemian says:

    Shaq has really been awesome so far, and I really expected something like this:

    http://www.celticslife.com/2010/07/final-guardian-of-window-shaquille.html

    Glad to see it's working out. Let's continue like this all the way til #18!

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