“Just Call Him Shaqstradamas”

April 26, 2024

We know, we know… the headline for this post was a little difficult to read, but did you get the joke? Our man Shaq is being compared to famous (for some) Renaissance-era writer, poet and fortuneteller Nostradamas for the way he predicted – exactly! – the final score of the Miami Heat / Boston Celtics NBA playoff game Wednesday night (as of this posting date, as usual). 

How plugged in is this guy? Quite a bit, apparently. After being blown out of the water by a score of 114-94 in the opening game, the Heat came back and evened up the series against Boston with an amazing 11-101 victory this past week. The Heat even did it without star Jimmy Butler. And the did it at the Boston Garden, in front of the hometown Celtics fans. 

But here’s the really cool part: Before the game, Shaq made this prediction in his game-night bet with Sir Charles Barkley. A simple call of “Miami by 10 tonight.” Not surprisingly, Chuck took the bet. After all, the Celtics had the best record in the NBA this year… they’ve looked pretty unstoppable as the season wrapped up and headed into the playoff tournament.

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Interestingly, O’Neal has played for both the Heat and the Celtics, in his post-Laker career. As we said, Miami looked to be on the struggle bus with the absence of Butler. He’s currently out with an MCL injury he suffered during the Heat’s Play-In Tournament loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and he’s not expected to return for this first round series.

Shaq was unfazed at halftime of the game, even with the Heat being down at the time by the score of 61-58. His call for the game did not change as he offered some advice to Miami: “Jimmy is not there so they definitely have to spread the love.,” 

Sir Charles takes the Heat / Celtics bet with Shaq! 

O’Neal even offered to double the bet with Barkley, adding, “Look, (the Heat) are shooting the ball great… They are going to continue shooting and they are going to steal this game. With Boston, they live by the three and they die by the three.”

And in the second half, Miami got hot and stayed hot, hitting 62% of their points from 3-point range by going 23-for 43. That is the most 3-pointers ever for Miami in a postseason game. Impressive long-distance performance! 

Shaq – lookin’ for a little payoff! 

O’Neal was also right about spreading the love. All five Miami starters scored in double figures. Tyler Herro led the winning offense with 24 points, which included six 3-pointers. He also completed a double-double with 14 assists. Bam Adebayo and Caleb Martin contributed with 21 points each, with Adebayo also adding 10 rebounds.

Will Shaq cash in on the bet? Interesting question… we never really heard if there was actual money on the line. At least one fan posted on socials after the game, “Shaq had the script!” We’ll have to see how the big man’s playoff prognosticating continues to play out. 

Game 3 of the Heat / Celtics series is Saturday evening, and now the series moves to Miami. 

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