There is really only one word to describe the two-year experience of Jermaine O'Neal in a Celtics uniform: disappointing. From the 49 games played, to the 5.2 points per game average, to the constant knee and wrist injuries that took an inside presence off a team that went to within one game of the NBA Finals a year ago. The stay was disappointing for all involved, including O'Neal. "You try to put yourself in a situation to help a team," O'Neal said before the Phoenix Suns took on the Celtics last night at the Garden. "I hurt the knee and then hurt the wrist the very next year, so yeah, I was definitely disappointed that it didn't pan out the way that I personally felt like it should have panned out." O'Neal was brought in on a two-year deal for the full mid-level exception in the 2010 offseason to provide a complementary inside presence to Kendrick Perkins and Shaquille O'Neal. The O'Neals were enough for president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to dump Perkins in a trade at the deadline bringing Jeff Green to Boston. Looking back that chain reaction of deals hasn't gone exactly in the Celtics favor. Jermaine O'Neal missed a good portion of the 2010-11 season with the knee injury and struggled with a degenerative left-wrist issue that ultimately ended his '11-12 season after surgery. O'Neal had to sit back and watch the Celtics make a run to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals with Kevin Garnett filling the center position.
Healthy Jermaine O'Neal returns
Boston Herald | Jan 10