On the eve of the opening game of the Knicks-Celtics Round 1 series, the Celtics have announced that center Shaquille O’Neal will miss Game 1. Although Shaq had been practicing with the team for a few days, he was still not in game shape and the team did not believe he was ready. With Shaq’s absence, the Celtics lose a key contributor to their defense and they will be short handed come Sunday.
The Knicks’ bigs will now have one less center to guard and they will be able to control the paint with little resistance. If Shaq continues to battle injury, the Knicks’ chances of an upset look very plausible.