Baseball’s Second Half

The All-Star break has come and gone, a new home run champ was crowned, and the National League extended their Midsummer Classic win streak to: 2.

Derek Jeter went yard for #3,000– he should really thank David Price for that beauty.

Francisco Liriano and Justin Verlander both threw no-hitters, and each came close to a second. Buster Posey was injured in a home plate collision and Albert Pujols broke his wrist, then regenerated in half the time as a machine would. The Pirates are 47-43, yes the Pittsburgh Pirates, sitting in 3rd place, just one game out in the NL Central. The Mets are above .500 due to Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran having seasons they’re capable of, the Mets have some hope. Their manager, Terry Collins, 62, “is older than the remote control and hadn’t managed a game in 11 years, is suddenly the second-youngest manager in the NL East (or, as it might be known in the latest realignment plan, the Del Boca Vista Division)” (SI Tom Verducci, Inside Baseball) And those Cleveland Indians, name one of their starting pitchers; name two of their outfielders; their DL is the who’s who of Cleveland but they’ve been in first and are currently in 2nd, half a game out. Whoda thunk it? Plus Brian Wilson and his beard have become the new rock star of baseball.

But don’t worry, the season isn’t too upside down, the AL East is a close race (you know who), the Phillies pitching rotation is competing at a high level and the Marlins can’t sell tickets (they closed the upper deck). So what’s going to happen in the second half? Who will hold on to each division? Can Pittsburgh make the playoffs?!

Milestone Progress

Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hit? Check, he’s at 3,004

Jim Thome’s (595) 600th home run? 5 away

Alex Rodriguez (626) catching Griffey (630) on the all-time home run list? 4 more. And Willie Mays (660)? 34 bombs, not likely

Ichiro’s 11th consecutive¬† 200 hit season, breaking his tie with Pete Rose? 101 hits at the break, on pace for about 190 hits (ASG isn’t halfway point, technically)

Mariano Rivera (581) all-time saves leader? 22 saves in 2011, on pace for around 40, putting at or above Trevor Hoffman’s record 601

Albert Pujols’ 2,000 hit? 16 to go

Matt Stairs’ record breaking 13th team played for? Check: Expos, Red Sox, A’s, Cubs, Brewers, Pirates, Royals, Blue Jays, Rangers, Tigers, Phillies, Padres, Nationals. That’s 52 different jersey’s he’s worn (Can be contested that he’s still tied at 12¬† with Mike Morgan since the Expos became the Nationals)

Awards

AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Tigers

AL Rookie of the Year: Michael Pineda, Mariners

AL Manager of the Year: Manny Acta, Indians

NL MVP: Matt Kemp, Dodgers

NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Phillies

NL Rookie of the Year: Freddie Freeman, Braves

NL Manager of the Year: Clint Hurdle, Pirates

October, who has survived?

AL East: New York Yankees

AL Central: Detroit Tigers

AL West: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

AL Wildcard: Boston Red Sox

NL East: Philadelphia Phillies

NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals

NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks

NL Wild Card: Milwaukee Brewers

Yankees win the East? One of the East teams will be struck with key injuries causing a slide, I know I’ll probably pick the wrong one, but the Yanks have shown excellent ability to plug holes and win, and they have the run support. Boston needs to stay healthy and if their 1 through 5 starters continue to pitch well, plus their bullpen, they could be on top. And the West, what was I thinking? Diamondbacks over the Giants? It’s a wild division and it’s Arizona’s time. Something special in the desert again, they’re my surprise pick.

Parting Thoughts

Will we see Bryce Harper in 2011? Don’t think so, don’t care yet. He will be good though. I also think there will be no more no-no’s, plenty of rumors around a Mets fire sale (not happening), Jose Reyes’ price tag continues to fall, Lance Berkman stays an MVP candidate until the end, the Rangers lose focus, and their lead in the West, and Ichiro blows up with a hefty hitting streak.

Baseball has been very, very good to me

Michael Schwartz is a staff writer for Home Field Advantage

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Frank McCourt: From the Parking Lot to Paradise and Back

Dodgers fans, you have a lot to be mad about, if you didn’t notice. A lot of people to blame, too. The sad part, as it almost always is, is that the fans didn’t deserve any of this. Fans didn’t ask to become divorce kids in the most damaging-to-baseball marriage split-up in the history of the game (if you come to me with some 1890s nonsense, just save it, it doesn’t matter.) You can be mad at Bud Selig for allowing a guy who owned a parking lot, and (here’s the kicker) not nearly enough capital to acquire the Dodgers, to do so. You can be mad at Frank (and Jamie) McCourt, for going ahead and doing so. You can be mad at anybody who had anything to do with letting this catastrophe happen. This whole thing is like Bud Selig looked at two trains headed directly for each other and said that they wouldn’t collide, because one of the trains just got new wheels. There was no reason to believe that Frank McCourt was going to be a good owner for the Dodgers, he was just a dude with a valuable parking lot. I don’t know if I can hammer this home enough– all Frank McCourt had on you, or me, was a parking lot. We would all fall into the pool of “not having enough money to buy the Dodgers” he just happened to have that parking lot. In case you were wondering, the lot was valued at approximately $200 million, when it was flipped by NewsCorp (who acquired the lot when McCourt bought the Dodgers from them) to Morgan Stanley. Obviously, $200 million isn’t enough to buy the Dodgers. But guess what! Frank McCourt still got to buy the Dodgers, through a deal financed largely on debt. This actually happened; this was actually allowed by a professional sports league to be done to one of its landmark franchises.

Now what? Bud Selig just blocked a $3 billion deal that would have given Fox Sports Network the rights to broadcast Dodgers games, and allowed Frank McCourt to meet his payroll, and everything would have been wonderful in paradise. I don’t blame Bud Selig for blocking the deal. For one, it was quite possibly undervalued. Two, allowing a team that is currently being fought over in divorce court to add 3 billion problems (cue Jay-Z) to the situation, is another patently idiotic decision. Thus, Frank McCourt had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order for payroll to be met, and all kinds of other fun financial jargon that Dodgers fans rightfully don’t, and shouldn’t have to, care about.At the end of the day, when this divorce is over, neither Frank nor Jamie McCourt will own the Dodgers, and the fans will be left with a team that is stuck in professional sports purgatory for the foreseeable future. Some married couples try to stay together for the kids– Frank and Jamie couldn’t stay together for the millions of Dodgers fans out there. What does that tell you?

 

It's never good when Manny is the most trustworthy person in a picture. (No offense to those camera dudes.)

Let’s look at the landscape of professional sports right now.

NFL- If this league was a movie character, it’d be Gordon Gekko. It has become quite obvious with these guys that the motto is “greed is good.” They’re currently in the middle of a labor dispute about nothing (maybe they’d be Seinfeld if they were a show.) All they’re fighting over is who gets the bigger piece of the $9 billion cookie cake. Lovely. A problem that all of us Americans slogging through a historically crappish economy can relate to. Remind me to feel sorry for the financial plight of any of these guys as soon as the cow jumps over the moon.

NBA- Locked out as well. This one is because the “savvy businessmen” who own these teams couldn’t put together a business model that would allow for them to make money. That’s right, dudes who made enough money to buy basketball teams didn’t have enough in the think tank to figure out a way to make those teams profitable. They could start by not handing out guaranteed contracts that paid the players receiving said contracts 5000 cents on the dollar when it comes to their actual value. Remind yourself to be shocked that the owners in this league are losing money.

MLB- Two of the league’s marquee franchises are currently in a major state of limbo. The Dodgers, as I mentioned above, and the Mets have had their well-documented financial strife as well. Don’t look now, but the group who bought the Astros took on a considerable amount of debt to do so. What’s that quote about those who don’t pay attention to history being doomed to repeat it? Oh, wait…

NHL- They’ve actually been doing pretty well since the 04-05 lockout. They just signed the biggest television contract in the history of their league this year, which will put more games on TV than ever before, and their financial pie has been growing each year. Unfortunately, America is too lazy to look for Versus on their cable guide. That’s not the NHL’s fault. They have the most captivating in-person product of the 4 major sports, and TV just doesn’t do it justice– and if you didn’t know already, getting people to the arena is harder than getting them to find your product on TV. So the NHL is at a competitive disadvantage, but they’re actually not doing too badly right now. Kudos to them. Their free agency frenzy is happening at the best possible time.

People ask us why we care so much about sports. These owners, whether it be Frank McCourt, the NFL owners, the NBA owners, or anybody, don’t seem to be doing us much justice right now. All we want, really, is not to feel like an ass for rooting for the team we root for. And right now, these professional sports leagues are seemingly kicking that notion to the curb. They don’t really care how stupid we feel for supporting their product, as long as we continue to finance their product. I apologize if this post is taking on the same tone as some of my previous posts, but it’s because there’s an overwhelming trend that seems to be more evident than it ever has before. The people in charge of the games we love just straight up don’t give a damn about what we think, or how we feel. I’m sorry Dodgers fans, if I could promise you that things would get better, I would. But, unfortunately, as it always is with sports, you’re just going to have to buck up and get through it.

 

Steve Sabato is a contributing writer for Home Field Advantage

 

Shaquille O’Neal retires

14-time All-Star and former NBA MVP center Shaquille O’Neal announced his retirement over the social media video messaging site Tout (ESPN Link). O’Neal, who most recently played for the Boston Celtics, had been battling a series of injuries late in his career, including an Achilles injury that held him out of action in this year’s playoffs.

O’Neal won four NBA championships in his career (three with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat) and scored 28,596 points during his stellar career.He made a name for himself in his three standout season playing for LSU and was number one overall pick by the Orlando Magic in 1992. Teaming up with Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway early in his career, O’Neal established himself as a star inside that could battle with the likes of established stars Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson.

After appearing in four All-Star games in his first four seasons, O’Neal forced his way out of Orlando and was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, forming one of the most dominate teams of the late 90’s and early 2000’s with Kobe Bryant. However, O’Neal and Bryant shared a very tumultuous relationship and it was commonly believed that the tension between the two led to O’Neal’s eventual trade to the Miami Heat before the 2004-05 season, even though the tandem had won three championships together.

Alongside Dwayne Wade in Miami, O’Neal took home what would be his fourth and final championship in 2005-06. The Heat were trailing the Dallas Mavericks two games to none when the Heat completed a massive Game 3 comeback and won the remaining four games. After the championship season, O’Neal began to experience a series of medical maladies that shortchanged his seasons. He played only 40 games in his final full season with Miami and 61 total between Miami and Phoenix the next season. O’Neal would finish his career bouncing between the Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and most recently the Boston Celtics.

Arguably O’Neal had his best season in 1999-00, the year he won his only Most Valuable Player award. O’Neal played a career-high 79 games and averaged 29.7 points, 13.6 rebounds and 239 blocks. For his career, O’Neal averaged 24.7 points and 11.2 rebounds and is a lock to be elected to the NBA Hall of Fame.

Shaq is one of the biggest personalities to ever set foot on an NBA court. Before Chad Ochocinqo, Shaq was calling himself Diesel, Superman, Shaqtus, and the Big Shamrock, among others. He is also one of the most dynamic centers to every play the game. Shaq was the first to introduce the new wave of athletic big men coming into the NBA. Unlike Robinson, Ewing and Olajuwon, Shaq was more athletic and dominating inside against older opponents. He was the bridge between the old school, back-to-the-basket center and the new school, perimeter style center along with Tim Duncan. No player in the NBA today can match the dominate inside defense and power-scoring offense that O’Neal mastered, and that includes Dwight Howard.

It is safe to say that the NBA is unlikely to see a talent that is as charismatic and dominating as Shaquille O’Neal was in his prime.

Greg Kaplan is a writer and co-founder of Home Field Advantage

HFA Stanley Cup Preview

Before I get knee-deep in Stanley Cup Finals analysis, I must be forthcoming with you guys about something. I care more about the Calder Cup Finals than I do about these Stanley Cup Finals. At least in the Calder Cup, I get a good look at the Ottawa Senators’ future, as their AHL affiliate Binghamton Senators take on the Houston Aeros. In the Stanley Cup I get a Northeast division rival playing against a Canucks team that really evokes no emotions in me whatsoever.

What to Expect: Low scoring games. Tim Thomas of Boston and Roberto Luongo of Vancouver are not Vezina finalists for nothing. They are probably two of the top three goalies that you would want on your side in a game that decided your life. Vancouver has more Defensemen to like (Bieksa, Edler, etc.) but Boston has the one D-Man that intimidates every player on the other team. His name is Zdeno Chara, and he will, in all probability, kill you, if you get under his skin. However, beyond him, there really isn’t much to love about Boston’s defense, and that has become evident through a series of situations that has led to him getting hung out to dry on odd-man rushes. I give Vancouver the defensive edge. On offense, Vancouver has way more firepower than Boston, with the Sedin twins, Mayson Raymond, Ryan Kesler, and company. Boston has a lot of talent, with guys like Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin, and Michael “Easy” Ryder, but it is a matter of them being able to break the goalie who won Canada the 2010 Gold Medal in hockey.

The key for Boston is going to be winning the battles on the boards. Guys like Milan Lucic, Chara, and Johnny Boychuk are going to have to take advantage of the fact that Boston is a much better checking squad than Vancouver. Gritty players cause turnovers, rough people up, and keep the other team’s offense in check. No pun intended. Maybe a little.

The Verdict: Vancouver in 6. I just don’t see Boston generating enough offense against Luongo, much less to counteract what the high-octane Canucks offense will likely produce. The Cup will finally return to Canada.

Fun Fact: Did you know the Sedins were planning to refuse to play unless they were on the same team? For example: If Daniel was drafted by one team, Henrik would refuse to play for whoever drafted him, until he hit free agency, and signed with the team that drafted Daniel. They’ve always been creepy, Stranz-and-Fairchild van Waldenberg close (Blades of Glory reference, don’t judge me) and this just makes people like them less. However, without their petty antics, the city of Vancouver would have been robbed of a lot of offensive magic on the ice. All good things come at some cost.

Steve Sabato is a staff writer for Home Field Advantage

HFA Radio Today at 4PM

Today on HFA Radio, we are examining all the storylines, for better or for worse, surrounding Boston, MA.

We will have our good friend Mike Aurigemma, a fellow Sports Comm senior here at Marist College straight out of Medford, providing his insight on all the topics as well.

Make sure you tune in at icecast.marist.edu!

State of the Franchise: Boston Red Sox

This Season: 0-5 (tied fourth AL East)
Last Season: 89-73 (3rd AL East, missed playoffs)

Well, uhm, so, this season hasn’t started the same way Boston had anticipated now, has it. No team has won the World Series after starting the season 0-4 or worse. But, no team had ever went to the World Series after trailing the League Championship Series trailing three games to none before the Red Sox did that in 2004. So, it’s not to say they won’t. Right now, though, things look really horrible.

In the off-season, the Red Sox made the most noise of any team in Major League Baseball, and many experts pinned Boston as the favorite to win this year’s World Series. For a few years now, the team had been burning up the phone lines to San Diego asking the Padres what it would take to get Adrian Gonzalez to Fenway Park. Finally, the Padres traded the former 2000 first overall draft pick for a package headlined by top prospect pitcher Casey Kelly. In 2010, Gonzalez was elected to his third consecutive All-Star game and finished fourth in the Most Valuable Player balloting in the National League, thanks in large part to a season in which he hit .298 with 31 home runs and 101 runs batted in for a surprise contending San Diego Padres team. Also a two-time Gold Glove winner, Gonzalez is the complete package from the left side of the plate that the Red Sox felt confident in slotting in the middle of their line-up. Gonzalez is off to a good start for the Sox this year, hitting .350 in his first five games with a home run and five runs batted in.

The other top billing addition Boston brought in was speedy left fielder Carl Crawford. A four-time All-Star while playing for the Tampa Bay Rays, Crawford became too expensive for the small market Rays and left for an in-division rival in Boston. Crawford had arguably his best season in 2010, hitting .307 with 19 home runs and 90 runs batted in, in addition to a league-leading 13 triples, scoring a career-high 110 runs, winning his first Gold Glove award and finishing seventh in the American League Most Valuable Player balloting. Experts believed that all of his numbers would skyrocket when plugged into the top of the Red Sox line-up with the likes of Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz hitting behind him.

If that was the ideal plan, well, in his first five games, the plan hasn’t worked. Hitting in a different spot in the line-up seemingly every day to try and find a rhythm, Crawford is off to a very slow .211 pace with zero extra-base hits. However, he did go two-for-four today with a pair of stolen bases against the Cleveland Indians, so maybe he’s starting to head in the right direction.

As a whole, a healthy Red Sox line-up will be more than fine in the American League. Shifted to third base with the addition of Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis should post numbers close to his career average of .294, 23 home runs and 94 runs batted in, if not better. Former league-MVP and Rookie of the Year second baseman Dustin Pedroia, fully recovered from his ankle injury that sidelined him for the majority of the 2010 campaign, should help out of the two-hole as always. A healthy and productive season from outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will also do wonders for this line-up, providing a speedy combination with Crawford that few other teams in the league can match. Not to mention, designated hitter David Ortiz and right fielder JD Drew should continue to provide power deep into the line-up.

The real surprise to the Red Sox 0-5 start has to be the starting rotation. None of the Red Sox five starters have looked impressive in their outings. Staff ace Jon Lester, coming off his first All-Star appearance and a 19-win season, got roughed up by the Texas Rangers deep line-up on Opening Day, but was the only Sox pitcher the first time through the rotation not to pick up a decision. Josh Beckett, coming off an injury-riddle Spring Training, showed encouraging signs in his season debut, but surrendered three runs in five innings and walked four batters.

The Red Sox biggest addition before the 2010 season, pitcher John Lackey, continued to disappoint Red Sox fans who had hoped his big contract signing would help anchor the rotation. He went 14-11 last year with an ERA of 4.40, and got off to a real slow start this season, lasting only 3.2 innings and giving up nine earned runs to the Rangers. Coming off a strong 2010 season in which Clay Buchholz, his first as a full-time starter, won 17, he, too, struggled against the Rangers.

Now, the Boston Red Sox are too good of a team on paper to struggle this much for the entirety of the season. Jon Lester is a notoriously slow starter, and Josh Beckett is still building his arm strength up from the spring. It’s only a matter of time until Crawford locks in at the plate and becomes the run producer the Red Sox believed they were signing. Adrain Gonzalez will be a force in the middle of the order, and the bullpen will be fine if they’re ever provided a lead.

But, the Red Sox should be concerned that the New York Yankees are coming out of the gates strong before their first regular season clash next weekend. At the same time, the team should also take solace in the fact that the Tampa Bay Rays, considered to be dark horses in the American League East race this year behind their strong rotation, have gotten off to an equally slow start.

It’s the first week of the season, a long, 162-game season. You don’t win pennants in April.

However, you can easily lose one in April.

State of the Franchise: Boston Celtics

This Season: 54-23 (clinched Atlantic Division title, 2nd in East)
Last Season: 50-32 (lost to Los Angeles Lakers in NBA Finals)

For two out of the last three years, the Boston Celtics have been the class of the Eastern Conference, and were the last team to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. When this year started, the Celtics were the odds-on favorite to represent the East in the NBA Finals once again, despite the additions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh in Miami. But, two things happened between now and then. One of things weren’t in the teams control. That was the Chicago Bulls gelling in the fashion they have and Derrick Rose becoming the league’s Most Valuable Player.

The second, however, was completely under their control: trading center Kendrick Perkins and point guard Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for swingman Jeff Green and center Nenad Kristic. When the trade was first announced, it look as bad on paper for Boston as it did in theory.

But first, the positives. The Celtics have already improved their win total from last year heading into the final stretch of regular season games in 2011. They have dispatched the Miami Heat each time the teams have met, and rather easily, too. They continue to distribute the ball better than any other team in the league, and lead the league in scoring defense. The “Big Three” of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett have managed to stay relatively healthy, something they didn’t easily accomplish last year. Pierce is leading the team with his 18.8 points per game, adding 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists as well. Allen continues to be a huge crunch-time clutch player, hitting three-point daggers at ease at the end of games. For the season, Allen is shooting a career-best 45.3% from three-point range, averaging 16.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Garnett is posting better numbers than he did one year ago, increasing his points and rebounds per game averages (14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds this year).

Despite battling a few injuries at the beginning of the season, point guard Rajon Rondo continues to make his case for the best play-making point guard in the league. He’s averaging a career-best 11.3 assists per game to go along with his 10.6 points he drops nightly. However, Rondo continues to be a burden towards the end of games, struggling to a career-worst 55.4% from the charity stripe, making him a popular target to foul to keep games close towards the end. Big body forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis has continued to flourish in his role off the Celtics bench. He’s been averaging 11.7 points and 5.5 rebounds each night in 29.5 minutes of play each night.

Which brings us to why the Green-for-Perkins swap was a terrible trade for the Boston Celtics. It’s not to say that Jeff Green is a bad player. Green was an underrated piece playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City, contributing around 14 points a night with 5.6 rebounds playing as an undersized four. However, the Thunder viewed Green as an added bonus instead of a building block, which is the correct estimation of his talents. You appreciate what he gives you, but you could find those points and rebounds from other players on the roster. The Celtics acquired Green to serve as their buffer between Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and foul trouble off the bench. They saw Green’s skill-set as a valuable piece not only in the future (Green is only 24), but as someone that could provide the same kind of offensive burst that any of their stars can if one of them weren’t able to for some reason.

In 21 games with the Celtics, all coming off the bench, Green has slumped noticeably. He’s averaging a lowly 9.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in only 22 minutes of action. Recently, coach Doc Rivers has turned to the media, saying that Green needs to “toughen up” his play, because he is now in Boston, not Oklahoma City. The stage is a lot bigger, and the expectations are a lot higher for the quiet Green.

Kendrick Perkins, however, is a massive six-foot 10-inch behemoth underneath that can bang bodies with any big man in the NBA. Last year, his started 78 games for the Celtics, averaging 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in 27 minutes of action nightly. Though his numbers don’t scream “All-Star NBA center”, he did take the burden off of every Celtic from having to deal with mismatches underneath the rim defensively and forced teams to work from the outside-in. With Rasheed Wallace having retired at the end of last season, Leon Powe leaving via free agency and now Perkins, the Celtics are left with Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett and two injured O’Neals: Shaquielle and Jermaine.

Both Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal have played under 40 games this season, with Shaq still missing time currently and Jermaine having only recently made it back to the court. Jermaine, playing in only 21 games, is down to 5.6 points and 3.6 rebounds. Shaq, seeing action 37 games, is averaging 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds, career-lows. Nenad Kristic, the big man they got in return for Perkins, is not a natural rebounder, averaging only 5.6 a night in his 19 games with the C’s. As a team, the Celtics have slumped to 29th in the league in rebounding.

The good news for the Celtics: they have enough on the roster to beat the weaker Eastern Conference playoff teams. Right now, they are a half game ahead of the Miami Heat for second in the East, with a match-up of those two teams remaining on the schedule. If they playoffs started today, the Celtics would be lined up with the Philadelphia 76ers, a team they dominated 99-82 on Tuesday. The longer the Celtics go into the playoffs, however, the more likely their lack of height will play a pivotal role.

The Celtics, given their current roster, should be able to beat the Heat in a seven-game series, a team they’ve handled all year long. But, if they were to encounter the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, the size of Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer will provide a major obstacle that the Celtics may not be able to overcome. The Celtics lost the Finals last year in large part because of the dominating play of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum underneath, and that was with a healthy Kendrick Perkins on roster.

At the end of the day, the Boston Celtics are relying on the health of Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquielle O’Neal to compensate for their lack of size on the bench. That faith seems to be displaced and unlikely to help the Celtics significantly come late spring.

All would’ve been different if they had only held on to Kendrick Perkins..