Celtics president Danny Ainge was a guest on The Big Show to break down the playoff series with Miami that starts on Sunday. As always though the first question was about Shaquille O'Neal and whether the center can return to the court. "I wish I had an answer to that one," Ainge said. "He looks better today. There's progress. We're still hopeful that he'll be ready to play but it's just taking longer to heal, or taking a while to heal. Shaq was determined to play Game 1 of the first playoff series and it's just not been that way. He could probably go out and something but I'm not sure he could help much."
Asked if Shaq could play 12 minutes at this point, Ainge said, "Right now he could not give us 12 minutes. We want Shaq healthy. If Shaq could give us 12 minutes in the first game without jeopardizing the following game he would probably be out there doing that but he's not ready to do that yet."
Of course he's not ready. Queue the "We can beat the Heat without Shaq" responses. Yes we can, but I'd prefer to have two competent centers and the increased odds in the series. The center position is a huge weakness for the Heat and Shaq would be a great weapon for the C's, but... he's still not ready.