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."
Fred Smerlas, Steve DeOssie and Butch Stearns break down all aspects of the Patriots win over the Lions, and take your calls as well.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots' 34-9 win over the Lions, the team's seventh win in a row. The defense stepped up again and now gets a crack at Aaron Rodgers next Sunday.
The guys give their final thoughts and predictions leading up to the 1pm matchup with Detroit.
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston
Red Sox beat writer Brian MacPherson joins Danny Picard to talk about the Red Sox going after Jon Lester and other free agents.
The Hot Stove guys are talking about Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester's contract offers from the Red Sox. They then por one out for the Giancarlo Stanton rumors being put to bed.
The Hot Stove boys are back again, talking about Jon Lester, Pablo Sandoval, Giancarlo Stanton's b
Dale and Michael get Jack Edwards' 'state of the B' report and talk about the win over the Blues at the Garden on Tuesday.
Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins struggles, the NHL franchise in Las Vegas, and the return of the glow puck!
BC's head coach joined the show to preview the Florida State game.
Rodney Harrison previewed the Patriots and Lions with the guys.
The top stories of the as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Detective Fauria tells us the infamous gloryhole story from VICE squad and other stories Christian's past.
Just out of practice, Kyle Arrington joins the guys to preview Pats-Lions
Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station 97.1 The Ticket's Stoney and Bill show . Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.
We check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin for his weekly update on all things NFL. We talk to Michael about the Raiders first win, the LeGarrette Blount saga, and how the Pats will do against the Lions this weekend.
Michael and Dale discuss Jonas Gray's tardiness, and try and predict how the running-back will respond and make up for his error.
We talk with Tom E Curran and debate whether or not the Patriots current performance is more reminiscent of the 2004 or 2007 Patriots.
Brandon covers the NFL, particularly the Detroit Lions for Bleacher Report. He gives us his thoughts on this Sunday's game and how the Lions stack up against the Patriots.
Mikey, Villani, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are talking Patriots-Lions and how the team this year stacks up to Patriots teams of the past.
Some more Musical Mikey Magic to get ready for Sunday's Patriots-Lions game.
Jerry Thornton's first podcast explores sports stories that would make for interesting 30 for 30 documentaries.
Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal joined WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin to talk about the play of Vermont and Providence, as well as other happenings around Hockey East. Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also joined the show to talk about his team’s good start, his freshman class and how he uses possession stats.
Joining the show today Mut the all-purpose back of WEEI. We talk about players we have hated over the years as well as Rajon Rondo and what is ailing the Celtics.
Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station WDFN's Shep in the Morning Show. Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.More from this show
Danny opens the show on Saturday afternoon looking at Sunday's matchup against the Detroit Lions. The Pats added former RB LeGarrette Blount to the line up. Calvin Johnson brings up an interesting match up for the DB's. Jonas Gray showed up late on Friday. And could Reggie Bush be tough for the LB's to cover?More from this show