Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge joined The Big Show for his weekly interview on Thursday afternoon. Ainge was first asked about the status of Shaquille O'Neal. Doc Rivers indicated earlier on Thursday that O'Neal's achilles injury could be a problem in the postseason.
"I was just with Shaq, we were just working out down in Waltham," said Ainge. "Shaq is either going to play Sunday or Tuesday. … I think that Doc probably -- "bleed into the playoffs" -- I think is something different than he's not going to play until the playoffs. But it looks like he's ready to go Sunday or Tuesday."
Jermaine O'Neal -- sidelined since January 12 after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee -- is scheduled to make his return to the lineup Thursday vs. the Spurs. Ainge feels both O'Neal centers must be playing key minutes for the Celtics to make a run in the postseason.
"First of all, there's a couple of things," Ainge said. "With Shaq on the court this year, in the games he started for us, our offense and our defense has been better than it's been for four years. That tells you how important Shaq is, how important his presence is alone. Second of all, Jermaine has been -- in limited minutes -- he has been the best defensive center on our team this entire season. So that tells you a little bit about what they've been able to do in Jermaine's limited time and Shaq has played some significant minutes. That tells you all right there."
The Celtics have struggled mightily as of late, losing seven of its last 12 games. Ainge dismissed the notion that the slump is a result of the trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma State.
"There's been some discussion, I've been asked a lot about the emotional element of the team, Ainge said. "We won five in a row after the trade. There was no emotional element, the team was playing great. … I think our big four have all had a drop-off in the 12-game stretch. I don't know [why], it just happens. Rondo and KG have had the biggest significant drop, and Paul and Ray have stayed at a fairly high level but not as high as they did in the first 50 games. The only players playing better since the trade have been Kristic and Jeff Green.
"Our defense, from the time of the trade to the time before the trade, has not waned at all," continued Ainge. "Our defense numbers are almost identical. Our offense has gone from being the best field-goal percentage team in the league -- in a decade in the first 45 games of the year -- to being 20th in the league this year. To me, it's still KG hanse;t been talking as many shots. KG is not demanding the ball. And I know he's going to do that, I know he's going to do that more."
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia talks to former federal prosecutor John Down about the NFL's discipline process and what should be changed.
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
We check in for our weekly visit with the interim Sox manager.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Recapping the evolution of the Deflategate witch hunt.
A compilation of all the trolls featured on D&C&M during Deflategate.
Kirk was The Breakfast Club's Donkey of the Day...
Former NFL running back Eddie George is upset that Judge Berman overturned Tom Brady's suspension and is speaking out, calling Tom Brady a cheater.
The guys continue to embrace the breaking news and listen to comments from Tedy Bruschi who happily reacts to the news that his former teammate is eligible to play on Opening Night.
Adam Schefter joins the show to talk about the breaking news that Tom Brady's suspension has been overturned, and gives his inside opinion on the result.
Now that the ruling has been overturned, Dale and Holley with Thornton check in with the legal analyst that was at the forefront of this case... SI's Michael McCann
Now that Brady is free, here's a recap of a good amount of the hate they faced the last 8 months.
We discuss Bob McNair's now infamous quotes about the Patriots, and how his comments, uniformed as they may be, are probably representative of other NFL owners, and thus the reason Roger Goodell can push forward with this situation without worrying about blowback from the owners.
Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the Thursday federal court decision to overturn Tom Brady's DeflateGate punishment.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.
Sam, Alex and Paul discuss a recent article in Rolling Stone about Russell WIlson and pretty much rip him to shreds.
WEEI.com's Chris Price and Mike Petraglia discuss Tom Brady beating the NFL in court and the final roster cuts for the Patriots heading into the 2015 season.
With the transfer window coming to a close, Ben, Russ & Alex hand out transfer grades for each Premier League team. They also discuss the Revs recent surge and debate if it will continue this weekend.
The guys continue to embrace the breaking news and listen to comments from Tedy Bruschi who happily reacts to the news that his former teammate is eligible to play on Opening Night.More from this show