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Shaquille O'Neal Will Not Play Against Knicks In Game One On Sunday

It's no secret that the Boston Celtics' hopes and dreams for a record 18th NBA title rests with Shaquille O'Neal. However, their worst nightmares came true on Saturday afternoon with the announcement that O'Neal will not play in Sunday's playoff opener against the New York Knicks.

"We tried to get him out there to practice today to simulate the game as much as we could and he's not ready," team president Danny Ainge said. "We don't know when he'll be ready." (via WEEI)

Boston's team doctor, Brian McKeon, noted that the decision to hold O'Neal out of game one was not a result of a lock of effort to return by O'Neal.

"This guy has been working his tail off. He's been working so, so hard," McKeon said. "Today we did like a mock trail, pregame workout and he failed. It's just too sore. We'll get back to work tomorrow." (via WEEI)

O'Neal averaged 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in 37 regular season games this season.