As of Friday afternoon, Shaquille O’Neal remains questionable for Sunday night’s Game 1 showdown with the New York Knicks. The Big Shamrock watched from the sidelines at the C’s practice facility, with the hopes of fully participating on Saturday.
But at this point in the season, how much can we expect from Shaq? The 39-year-old has been shaky at best for the second half of the season, and hasn’t logged significant minutes since Feb. 1. While most were expecting Shaq to be fully rested at this point, how much will we really see of the big man in the playoffs?
If there’s one thing we know about “older” athletes, it’s that rest is key to their performance. Shaq has definitely had plenty of rest over the past few months, but will that be enough for him as the postseason approaches?
Shaq may be a bit rusty due to the lack of play, but we also know that he is a player that knows how to win in the postseason. With four NBA titles and three Finals MVP awards under his belt, Shaq has proven he knows how to lay it all on the line in the playoffs. Can he do so again with the Celtics in 2011?
Sure, we’re not expecting another MVP performance out of Shaq, but he can definitely clog up the lane and do some damage for the C’s. But as the “questionable” tag lingers and the postseason inches closer, one has to wonder just how many games Shaq has left in him this year.