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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Shaq focus of Heat's concern
The rate at which Shaquille O'Neal's thigh is healing worries Miami, which has swept the Nets and Wizards without him at full strength.
Published May 17, 2005
Able to make quick work of its opening two playoff series, the Miami Heat's interest now is getting center Shaquille O'Neal back in short order.
"Obviously we're better with him," power forward Udonis Haslem told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel . "But, if for some strange reason he's not healthy, we've got to push on and carry him like he's been carrying us all season."
Based on the pessimism of coach Stan Van Gundy after Saturday's closeout win in Washington, O'Neal's right thigh bruise has become a growing concern.
O'Neal sat out the final two games of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal sweep against the Wizards. He was injured April 17 when his right thigh collided with the knee of Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal.
Van Gundy gave the team Sunday and Monday off. The Heat opens the conference final Monday or May 25, depending on the length of the Indiana-Detroit series, which resumes at 7 tonight in Detroit tied 2-2.
Seattle is at San Antonio at 9:30 p.m. That West series is also 2-2.
"It allows the baddest man in basketball to get healthy," forward Eddie Jones said of the break.
After expressing optimism after Thursday's Game 3 against the Wizards, O'Neal did not comment after Saturday's game.
"Ultimately, we need the big fella to get where we want to go," guard Keyon Dooling said. "When you have the most dominant force in basketball, you don't want to see him sitting on the sideline."
With Saturday's win, the Heat improved to 8-3 in O'Neal's absence, including 6-3 during the regular season.
When O'Neal's bruise will heal depends on many things.
How deep is the it? How much did the bruise bleed inside the muscle? How fast is O'Neal absorbing the fluids from swelling? The bottom line, sports doctors say, is deep bruises and the pain they cause can crimp the leg's abilities for weeks or months.
"There's no way to say how long, really," said George Caldwell, a team doctor for the Dolphins and Marlins. "You really have to go by the timetable the body gives you. There's no sense setting dates. The vast majority of them, given enough time, the body takes care of itself."
Deep thigh bruises result from blunt trauma to one or more of the four muscles that make up the quadriceps, at the front of the thigh. The trauma damages the tissue, may break some of the many small blood vessels in the muscle mass and causes swelling, all of which restricts the leg's ability to flex.
SUNS: President Bryan Colangelo was named executive of the year by the Sporting News . Colangelo, whose front-office moves helped lead Phoenix to the third-biggest turnaround in league history - 29-53 last season to a league-best 62-20 - will be presented the award today.
STEROIDS: None of the five players invited to testify before Congress has agreed to appear, and the House Government Reform Committee has concerns about the league's drug-testing policy. Dave Marin said that chairman Tom Davis, ranking Democrat Henry Waxman and Sen. John McCain will introduce a bill this week governing steroid testing in U.S. sports. "The chairman at this point is a little bit disappointed that we don't have a player confirmed for Thursday," said Marin, spokesman for Davis (R-Va.). Marin wouldn't say who the five invited players are, other than to describe them as current players whose teams are not alive in the playoffs. NBA Players Association spokesman Dan Wasserman declined comment.