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It had been 27 games since Celtics fans got to see “The BIG Shamrock” in action, but with 4:43 left in the first quarter, Shaquille O’Neal stepped foot on the hardwood, ready to give Boston fans what they have been waiting for. He entered to a loud roar, and you could see the happiness and excitement in the fans’ eyes. The fans did have a lot to cheer about, as the struggling Celtics looked sharp, getting a double digit win over the Detroit Pistons 101-90, but the return of Shaq wasn’t exactly what was expected.
Shaq did enter the game with a bang, scoring on the first two Celtic possessions and looking healthy again running up and down the court. It was in the second quarter when Celtic fans’ smiles turned upside down real quickly. Just 49 seconds into the quarter, Shaq suddenly came up limping as he was running up the court. As he was limping off into the locker room, you could see the devastation in everyone’s eyes. With the playoffs right around the corner, it’s tough not to worry about whether or not this was the last time we see Shaq playing in a Celtic uniform in the 2010/2011 season. His last injury lasted two months and no one has any idea how long he will be out this time. Doc Rivers and the Celtics can only hope that Shaq has a speedy recovery, but only time will tell. Rivers was optimistic when the diagnosis was only a straigned right calf muscle and he stated, “The doctor thought it was very minor. Scary more than anything,” and when asked how long he think it would take to get Shaq back, he said, ”I don’t know, I don’t think very long.”
Boston’s Big Three stepped up and scored more then half of the Celtics’ 101 points. Kevin Garnett led all scorers with 23 points, and Paul Pierce was right behind him with 22. Ray Allen went 5-6 from the floor, scoring 13 points of his own as Rajon Rondo contributed 14 assists. Tayshaun Prince and Will Bynum played well for the Pistons, who had the lead in the first quarter but just couldn’t keep up with the Celtics in the end. The Celtics’ next game is Tuesday against the Philadelphia 76ers.