NEW YORK — Shaquille O’Neal won’t play in Game 4 against the Knicks Sunday afternoon. Celtics coach Doc Rivers announced that Shaq would remain out for the Celtics. The team did not practice today, opting for a walkthrough. The Celtics had planned to evaluate O’Neal today and see if he’d be ready to play tomorrow.
“He needs some real basketball under his belt,” said Rivers.
O’Neal was on the floor for the team’s walk-through at Madison Square Garden today. The media walked in right as O’Neal was shooting a 3-pointer. Once reporters came in, O’Neal hung around for a minute before walking off into the locker room.
The Celtics’ public statement is that they expect O’Neal to come back at some point during the playoffs. If O’Neal does return, he’ll likely need more than one practice session before playing in an actual game. A Celtics sweep of the Knicks could give O’Neal a chance to work out on the court this week.