CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With a chance to string together six days of rest for their banged up big man, the Celtics will sit Shaquille O’Neal down again tonight against the Bobcats. The same sore right calf that has kept him out of six games this season will knock him out of the lineup tonight, and rookie Semih Erden will start for the second straight game.
“It happens,” O’Neal said. “Age, I guess.”
O’Neal said Thursday before the Celtics win over the Sixers that he would try to play today, but Rivers said he never intended to have the 38-year-old center play.
“We knew that the other day that he wasn’t going to play these games, or we assumed it,” Rivers said.
With Jermaine O’Neal and Rivers has had to walk a fine line with O’Neals minutes, stealing rest for him both in games and practice.
“We all have the same vision ahead of us,” O’Neal said. “We’re doing good right now. It gives Semih a chance to get some burn. JO will be coming back soon and further down the road we’ll have our whole team back. Doc does a great job of managing the old, antique cars,” O’Neal said. “Doc’s garage is the best [expletive] garage in the business.