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Shaquille O'Neal agrees with me. Celtics on-court leader sorely needed.


How long is Danny Ainge going to continue without an on-court leader? I have written repeatedly on this subject, and now I have some backup.

On this morning's NBA TV broadcast, Shaquille O'Neal was asked what is wrong with the Boston Celtics. His response follows:

"This game we play - the simpler you make it, the easier it becomes.

They (Celtics) have to identify whose team it is. They have to identify who the second punch is."

When asked who that leader may be, Shaq hesitated briefly and then mentioned Jayson Tatum as that guy. Candace Parker blamed the COVID pandemic as the main cause of Boston's woes, while Dwayne Wade stated the team has no "identity"

O'Neal's comment about "simplicity" was a bit obscure, but he may have been talking about Brad Stevens perhaps overly-complex defensive and offensive schemes. If that was his point, I agree. Overthinking can lead to confusion.

But Shaq's statement on the need for an on-court leader was crystal clear, and he is totally correct. O'Neal represented the Celtics players on the court asking themselves, "Am I the guy? Am I the guy?" Shaq stressed that there should be a Celtics player that demands the ball in critical situations. And my belief is that the Boston Celtics will not right their ship until the right player finally steps forward to take on the role of on-court leader.


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