â†µTurns out I was right. As of right now, Garnett is out for the playoffs. Or, in the ever-steadying words of Doc, "After today there's no way he can play." Rivers added that maybe KG could return after all, but he "was not optimistic."
â†µWell, still not pitch-perfect communication, but there's no disputing the general message: The Celtics are effed, and the East just got a whole lot less interesting. Yes, I know, the Celtics have managed to do some amazing things -- err, win some big games -- without Garnett. But this is the playoffs. Where lives are broken and women cry for days. Garnett is the emotional backbone of that team, as well as the defensive presence that makes the whole team hop to it on that end of the floor. Hyperbole, maybe. Yet in the crude calculus of the postseason, this is about the worst thing that can happen to a team. Everyone else steps up their intensity and focuses their game; meanwhile, Boston is sliding backward.
â†µOh, you say, I'm being too rough on the Celtics? There's a surrogate Big Three of Pierce, Allen, and Rondo just waiting to scrappily, us-against-the-world-ly, go on a run? Sure, they'll get past the Bulls. I'll grant them that. But could they neutralize the white-hot Dwyane Wade? Take down the Hawks, who now are legit rivals? Both possibile. And both moot, since the Celtics will run smack dab into the Magic in Round Two. And let's face it -- the Magic have more shooters, and with Garnett absent, an unquestioned advantage in the paint. So Lakers, go ahead and breathe a little easier, be prepared for that country club-like, media circus that will result if Cavs/Lakers shakes out.
â†µNo one will cry for defending champs. Especially not after they have done so much to piss off the rest of the league this season. Better luck next year, dudes. â†µ
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