The 2011 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics was the proverbial end of an era. It was a battle between the aging front-runners of the East and the newly-built superteam in Miami. In the end, it was the Heat that came out on top of that series. However, Shaquille O’Neal believes that that series could have gone differently had he been healthy, per an interview with Heavy Sports.
“I was just a role player then, but if we’d have made it to this thing, I would have f***** LeBron and D-Wade up in the playoffs. I promise I would have. That would have been my role. Like, as soon as they come to the hole, touch ’em up.”
Shaq is at least cognizant of his role for the Celtics during that season. During his prime, Shaq was one of the most dominant forces in basketball history. His combination of speed and size made him a nightmare to guard, even during his stint with the Heat. By the time he made it to Boston though, Shaq was already 36, his knees nearly turned to dust due to his injuries.
Despite that, Shaquille O’Neal could’ve done some damage to the Heat down low. After all, he’s still a big body in the paint, where LeBron and Wade liked to attack. A few rough fouls here and there could’ve worn down the dynamic duo. Would that have made a significant difference for the Celtics? Perhaps, but we can’t know that for certain.
For now, all the focus should be on the Celtics’ current predicament in the Eastern Conference Finals. They find themselves down 0-2 due to some lackluster fourth quarter play from the team in general. With the series shifting back to Miami, can Boston turn it around and tie their series against the Heat?