Celtics Will Need to Defend Title Without Kevin Garnett
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers called into WEEI Sports Radio in Boston today to talk about the Celtics’ upcoming playoff run, in which they will attempt to defend their 2008 championship. But the hopes of attaining that goal took a serious blow today, as Rivers reported that Celtics defensive and emotional leader Kevin Garnett will not be ready for the postseason when it starts, and may not be able to play at all due to his recent knee injury. Without KG in their starting lineup, the Celtics are still a contender, but should be considered on the same level as Orlando or Atlanta, rather than a clear-cut top-2 team in the conference. With the way Ray Allen and Paul Pierce have played all season, the improvement of Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins, and a presence of a star-caliber player in Stephon Marbury off the bench, the Celtics can still make a deep playoff run. But the road is much, much tougher without Garnett leading the way. The bread & butter of the Celtics’ 2008 Championship team was their suffocating defense, a culture that Garnett instilled into the locker room the moment he donned a Celtics jersey. Rivers and defensive coach Tim Thibodeau can still form solid defensive game plans against the Celtics’ playoff opponents, but without the 6’10” Garnett the Celtics are suddenly looking very small up front. Perkins and Rondo will be counted on more than ever in this playoff run, and if they win it again this year without Garnett at all, they will truly shock the world. As Garnett himself said, “ANYTHING’S POSSIBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!”
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