If you'd told the Celtics in August they could make it through half the season only missing Shaquille O'Neal for nine games, they'd probably have taken that deal. Shaq might be missing one more contest Saturday night, staying home as the C's travel to Washington to take on the Wizards, but that's par for the course.
The Celtics' 38-year-old big man battled a sore hip early in the team's blowout win Friday night over the Utah Jazz. He played only six minutes and left early; in his place, Semih Erden took the floor for extended minutes.
Erden will start again Saturday against the Wiz. He's coming off a big game on Friday in which he dropped a career-high 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting in nearly 30 minutes of playing time.
Erden and Kevin Garnett will find themselves matched up with a pair of energetic youngsters in Washington's JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche. Look for the Celtics to try to establish the post game early and often.
Here's the lineup card for C's-Wizards:
Rajon Rondo, PG
Ray Allen, SG
Paul Pierce, SF
Kevin Garnett, PF
Semih Erden, C
John Wall, PG
Nick Young, SG
Rashard Lewis, SF
Andray Blatche, PF
JaVale McGee, C