Shaquille O'Neal is finally back for the Celtics in Game 3 against the Miami Heat, but he won't be starting. That responsibility remains with Jermaine O'Neal, who holds down the starting center position again Saturday night at the TD Garden.
With Doc Rivers activating Shaq but keeping quiet about exactly how minutes he'll play him, there's no doubt still a heavy burden on the younger O'Neal to give the Celtics quality minutes. He's averaged a respectable 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds so far in the series, but the C's have been a significantly weaker team offensively with him on the floor.
Meanwhile, the Heat will stick with Zydrunas Ilgauskas as their starting center; just like J.O., Big Z has been a mitigating factor for his team offensively. The Heat will probably be forced to go big more often in Shaq's presence, which means more minutes for Ilgauskas and Joel Anthony.
Udonis Haslem remains out for the Heat, leaving Erik Spoelstra's squad short one very effective energy guy off the bench.
Here's the lineup card for C's-Heat:
Rajon Rondo, PG
Ray Allen, SG
Paul Pierce, SF
Kevin Garnett, PF
Jermaine O'Neal, C
Mike Bibby, PG
Dwyane Wade, SG
LeBron James, SF
Chris Bosh, PF
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C