Shaquille O’Neal answered the call Friday night against the Bobcats in a big way. The Celtics are short, I mean desperately short in the front court for the time being and needed a big game from one of the game’s biggest stars.
Shaq was forced to play a season high 35 minutes due to Semih Erden’s ability to rack up fouls in a short amount of time.
Shaq was 10-12 from the field, 3-3 from the line on his way to 23 points and 5 rebounds. Shaq also chipped in 5 blocks as the pesky Bobcats kept the game a lot closer than it should have been. A key Ray Allen three late in the 4th quarter helped seal the win.
The night belonged to Shaq as he was able to push the sun back up in the sky for one more day to remind us that he is one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA.
The real question will be how will Shaq and the Celtics bounce back against the Magic on Monday night. The KG injury situation is beginning to take on a 2009 feel scaring Celtic fans into thinking that he may not return for quite awhile.
Shaq represents the only legitimate center presence on the roster and the C’s need him to hold his own until Kevin Garnett is healthy enough to play. Luke Harangody and Erden are not established enough, at this point in their careers, to be counted on to contribute. Both Harangody and Erden have shown flashes, but this needs to happen a couple of games in a row before the Celtics can start to feel good about the status of their front court. Rasheed Wallace? Anyone…..
Truth be told, I started yesterday writing a piece about how we needed Shaq to step up his game, guess I’ll keep it as a draft for now hoping I never have to publish it.