Shaq To Celtics: “Win Two”

July 8, 2024

OK, NBA season officially over. Time for the post-season commentary, and the look-ahead to next season. Not surprisingly, our man Shaq has something to say about this years’ Championship-winning Boston Celtics and next year’s season. 

In case you missed it, the Celtics steamrolled through the playoffs and picked up the jewelry, putting in an impressive 16-3 record en route to the Finals victory. Talking on his most recent podcast – The Big Podcast With Shaq – O’Neal said the Celtics are “unlikely” to repeat as champions because they didn’t face tough enough competition this past season. Despite the championship, O’Neal says the Celtics still have more to prove. 

Shaq on the podcast: “Boston had it easy. It’s not their fault. I don’t care, they won … they won it and they won it square but there is still a lot of doubters.”

The Celtics were far from the only team to face injuries during the playoffs. Miami’s Jimmy Butler, Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell, and Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton all missed games against the Celtics. Dallas’s Luka Doncic was reportedly receiving pain-killing injections during the Finals.

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“Their road was too easy, so when their road stiffens up and they don’t win, then that statement will be verified. Now, if they win next year, with all these teams healthy you’ve got to give them their respect. But, you know how us haters and us commentators do. OK, you got one, win two.”

“I’m impressed by this year but this year is already over,” O’Neal added. “So if you want to impress me, if you want to separate yourself as the best, most successful franchise, beat those teams when they are healthy.” With the win, the Celtics moved back into sole possession of the most titles by a single NBA franchise. They broke the 17-17 tie with the Shaq’s Lakers. Three of those titles came with Shaq in the yellow and purple.

It might actually get easier for the Celtics in the coming year. Most of Boston’s playoff games were without center Kristaps Porzingis, who averaged 20.1 points and 7.2 rebounds during the regular season. Porzingis had a pair of injuries – first a calf strain, then a torn retinaculum and dislocated posterior tibialis tendon that kept him sidelined from the end of the opening round series against Miami.

Returning that superstar to the regular lineup should add even more firepower to the Celtic’s regular season win-loss record. Still, even without Porzingis, the Celtics had a relatively easy path through the playoff tourney. 

So, why the opinion that the Celtics will not be able to repeat? Shaq knows that winning the crown – just once – is a very difficult proposition. Still, O’Neal said that this year, “Boston had it easy.” Easy or not, the Celtics put together the best record in the game this past year. That’s got to count for something! 

In the end, Shaq took off his former-player uni and put his commentator hat back on. “You know how us haters and us commentators do,” he said. “Okay, you got one, win two!”

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