Shaq does not travel, out vs. Heat, Wiz
April, 9, 2011
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal did not travel with the team to Miami Saturday and has been ruled out for both of Boston's final two road games of the season.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers had said Friday that it was unlikely that Shaq would travel and, sure enough, he was the only player left behind as Boston will carry 14 healthy bodies for Sunday's showdown in Miami and Monday's visit to Washington.
With no scheduled practice days before the regular-season finale, it would appear that O'Neal might not be back on the floor until the postseason. The Celtics play game No. 82 on Wednesday night when the Knicks visit the TD Garden, then will likely enjoy three offdays before the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs open.
O'Neal returned to the court for the first time since Feb. 1 on Sunday, but logged a mere six minutes before suffering a right calf sprain. Rivers had said all week there was a slight chance O'Neal could play in Miami, but also said the team would exercise extreme caution with the 39-year-old center.
Shaq has appeared in 37 games this season, averaging 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds over 20.3 minutes per game. Boston is 27-9 (.750 winning percentage) with O'Neal in the starting lineup this season.
Jermaine O'Neal, who got a maintenance day by sitting out Friday against the Wizards, traveled with the team and will likely rejoin the starting lineup in Miami.