Is Jermaine O’Neal Good Enough at Center for Celtics to Contend for an NBA Title?


January 1, 2012

Is Jermaine O'Neal Good Enough at Center for Celtics to Contend for an NBA Title?

If only this were 2004, a front line of Jermaine O'Neal, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce would undisputedly be the best in the NBA.

This isn't 2004, however, and instead of three MVP candidates in their frontcourt the Celtics have three former superstars who healths are in question on a nightly basis.

Garnett has not played more than 71 games in any season since 2006-07. O'Neal was limited to just 24 games a year ago, and Pierce returned Friday after an extended absence due to a bruised heel.

Of the three, O'Neal is the biggest question mark. Not only has the center battled injuries, he's struggled with foul trouble and his shot since joining the Celtics. When he's playing well, as he was Friday against the Pistons, he can still be useful. When he's picking up a foul virtually every minute, he's a liability.

The Celtics face a young, athletic front line on Sunday when take on the Wizards. It will be a test of how much bounce O'Neal has left in those legs.

Can the Celtics win an NBA championship with Jermaine O'Neal at center?

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