With only eight games left in the regular season, Boston’s recent stretch of games without Kevin Garnett has made it blatantly obvious the Celtics need their defensive anchor heading into the playoffs.
When Celtics Down Under’s head man Kein attended the Celtics vs Bobcats game at the TD Garden on the 16th of March, news came through that Garnett would not be playing that night due to ‘illness’. Two nights later, KG was again missing for the C’s clash against their arch rival the Miami Heat. Fans breathed a sigh of relief when Garnett returned to the floor to play New Orleans and Dallas in consecutive games. But he hasn’t played since.
Without Garnett, the Celtics have struggled mightily on the defensive end, leaking over 100 points in five of six contests. The likes of Nikola Pekovic (29 points) of the Timberwolves and Mike Scott (19 points) of the Hawks, have shown there is no dominant presence to stop easy points around the basket in Garnett’s absence, illustrating the glaring hole in the big man department behind KG.
News from a Jackie MacMullan report surfaced today, that the Big Ticket has a bone spur in his ankle. Doc Rivers had this to say:
“Honestly, he’s fine,” Rivers said. “It‘s a bone something, a bone spur that just needs to relax and calm down. I think that’s what it is. It’s his ankle. If we were in the playoffs tonight, Kevin would absolutely be playing.”
Sounds eerily similar to something that happened to then-Celtic Ray Allen only one year ago. As C’s fans know, Allen was put on ice for the latter part of the season, which saw the emergence of Avery Bradley as a starter. When Ray returned for the playoffs, he was visibly hampered by the bone spurs in his feet. Celtics fans are hoping the same fate isn’t bestowed upon #5.
If the Celtics are to be any real chance of shaking up the playoffs like they did 12 months ago, Boston must have their defensive anchor and emotional leader in Kevin Garnett at the helm, barking at his teammates to stick to their assignments and keep the team focused on Banner 18. So we say Get Well Soon to Kevin Garnett; We Need You!