By ROBERT LEE
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON - Phoenix vocal center Shaquille O'Neal knows a good thing when he sees it.
He believes that the Boston Celtics are as good as they come as far as the makeup of an NBA team.
The Celtics put three superstars on the same team last season when they traded for All-Stars Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and teamed them up with fellow All-Star Paul Pierce.
The result was an NBA championship.
Part of the reason the Celtics were so successful last season, O'Neal said, was because they were an unselfish team that sacrificed individual glory for the chance to win a championship.
"They were three superstars who were meshing and gelling," O'Neal said. "There was no drama. No arguments. They were guys sacrificing for each other. It was a perfect season for those three guys."
O'Neal has been on teams where their star players, including himself, argued with each other about who is getting the most shots, but he doesn't see that with Boston.
"If you go through the history of the game, there are a lot of teams that had two or three great players on a team who were very unselfish but if you look at the make up of those guys, they've always been very unselfish," O'Neal said of Boston's new Big Three. "They've been on teams where they were the go-to guy so they had to take all of the shots but those guys are very nice guys and they stay out of trouble off of the court. It's all about their make up. They are very unselfish."
O'Neal said that he is not surprised that the Celtics are on pace to surpass 60 wins again this season.
"It's the same team but they miss [James] Posey," O'Neal said. "They know how important Posey is and was but they have a lot of other guys stepping up. [Leon] Powe is there. [Eddie] House is there. [Brian] Scalabrine is there. My son, Big Baby [Glen Davis] is there so it's good."
"All of the pieces are still there," Phoenix coach Terry Porter said.
O'Neal said that he was impressed with the way the Celtics defeated his former teammate Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals last year in six games.
"Watching the series from a fan standpoint, it reminded me of like the old Boston days where you see three or four Hall of Famers playing together," O'Neal said. "It was pretty to watch from a fan standpoint."