Jermaine O’Neal was brought in to help bridge the gap until Kendrick Perkins recovered from his devestating new injury. As it turns out, O’Neal is dealing with an injury of his own.
According to A. Sherrod Blakely over at CSNNE.com, O’Neal had a “minor procedure” performed on his troublesome left knee. With Shaq also being plagued with a right knee injury that has caused him to miss the last few games, the Celtics troubles up front keep multiplying.
“It’s just one of those situations, you’re going to be banged up,” O’Neal said.
Even after the procedure, O’Neal said the knee is still in a lot of pain.
“That’s why I’m looking forward to just making it through this next game,” O’Neal told CSNNE.com. “After Dallas, we got a few days in between before we play Miami [on Thursday]. That’ll do my knee a lot of good.”
You didn’t get the sense that JO looked any worse last night against Oklahoma City. He seemed to be what he has been most of the season—relatively active on the boards and inside on the defensive end, but lacking the legs to get his jump shots up and over the rim at times. And while he has hit a few key jumpers in the last few games, it has just appeared that he has not discovered a consistent offensive touch.
Still, the Celtics don’t need JO to score, and if he can continue to provide the type of impact he has on the defensive end as he plays through this injury he can still contribute. And at least now we know why Semih Erden has been getting so much run while JO has played about 20 minutes a game. And speaking of Semih, he has looked good in the last few games and is clearly capable of giving the Celtics some quality minutes at the center spot.
So what should we take from this? Well, Danny Ainge knew the Celtics needed help up front without Perk, but you have to question the motivation in adding two injury prone players. With both O’Neals histories of ailments, this was an inevitability.
Maybe the hope was that they wouldn’t get injured at the same time. All I know is that Celtics fans better get ready for a healthy dose of Semih Erden nightly. It might be the only healthy thing about the big man corps for much of the season.