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Boston banking on health of Shaq with trades
“We can’t use it as an excuse and cry over spilled milk, so hopefully the guys we have coming in understand what we’re trying to do around here _ still championship goals,” Pierce said. “It’s definitely a blow when you lose a guy like Perk, who’s been in playoff battles, been tested, gives us size and defense, especially when you’re going against guys like Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol if we make the finals and play the Lakers. Hopefully, we can make up for it in other ways.”
The Celtics also could get Jermaine O’Neal (left knee) back healthy by the postseason and they still have bulky Big Baby Glen Davis. The versatile 6-foot-9 Green can play multiple positions and will be counted on to guard the likes of Anthony and LeBron James.
“Good piece for us as well,” Rivers said. “He spreads the floor.”
“We’ve been trying to get that lineup since Posey left,” Rivers said. “And I think people forget how many times we did that in the playoffs, which was every fourth quarter for the most part. We haven’t been able to duplicate that. In some ways that’s hurt Rondo and in this way it should help.”
So should the return of Shaq.
“Our record is (great) with him in it,” Rivers said. “I see a lot of lineups, but you always see the lineups and then when you coach them, ‘Eh, I don’t like that lineup as much.’ But you see a huge lineup: Shaq, Kevin, Paul, Jeff Green, Rondo. I mean, that’s a big lineup.
“You just don’t know how any of them work until you get them on the floor.”
“We won’t” ever know, Rivers said. “That team never lost. So we can just end that. But we have to win with the group we have. And I think we will.”
AP Sports Writers Chris Duncan in Houston and Dave Skretta in New York contributed to this report.
By Tom Fitton
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