"I'm 100 percent (healthy)," O'Neal said at Monday's Media Day. "The knee isn't giving me any problems."
If that's true it could be a comeback season for O'Neal, who will earn $23 million this year, the final year of his contract. And if O'Neal has a comeback season there's a good chance the Heat equals or improves last year's 43-39 record and first-round playoff appearance.
"If I had any summer to get back," O'Neal said, "this was my summer."
O'Neal, acquired in a mid-season trade with Toronto in exchange for a package that included forward Shawn Marion, was in such a bad way with his aching left knee last season that he said he was "basically playing on one leg."
To address that, O'Neal underwent two rigorous off-season workout programs _ a seven-week session with the Heat's trainers followed by an eight-week session with noted fitness guru Tim Grover, the Chicago-based expert who helped Heat guard Dwyane Wade regain his health last summer.
Unfortunately, I am a Pacers fan and followed O'Neal for much of his career. Once he had that injury, never was he back to true form. He would always claim it, but it simply wasn't there.
With him only adding on age every season, it's hard for me to imagine him being all that successful. However, I'd love to see him return to form. It would be nice to see a player like him get back on the road to finishing off a great career.
It's hard to say. I would like to see him get more touches. He doesn't seem to get the ball as much. In the first two games, when he was aggressive and got enough touches, he was a beast. Then the next couple of games he didn't seem to get the same touches. I really belive he can become a 20 point scorer with enough touches. The only big question will be his rebounding. It has tailed off since his first two games. He has to grab at least 8 rebounds a game. Still, it's only the first two weeks. we'll have to wait a month or more before we can really tell what he will be giving the Miami Heat this season.