Boston Celtics: Can the Cs Ride Shaquille O’Neal To the NBA Finals?

February 28th, 2011 by Collin Berglund Leave a reply »
Kendrick Perkins was the reason the Boston Celtics beat the Orlando Magic in the NBA playoffs last season.  Shaquille O'Neal will have to be the reason in 2011.

This season, Perkins' return was going to give the Celtics the consistency they needed in the starting five.  As Doc Rivers always said, Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett and Perkins never lost a playoff series when all five were healthy.

Instead, the Celtics traded away Perkins. They traded away the size that allowed them to compete with the league's dominant big men like Dwight Howard.  Then they traded away Semih Erden, the 7' Turkish center who was starting to develop because Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal were never healthy.

The Celtics are one of the best teams in basketball, a favorite to represent the East in the Finals.  But can Shaq and Erden lead them there?

Shaq returns this week.  With Shaq in the starting lineup, the Celtics are 27-9.  In other words, the Celtics didn't have Perkins for much of the season and were still one of the best teams in basketball.  Past experiences are not evidence of future returns and the Celtics can still be a dom ...

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