With a four-point Celtics lead and five minutes and 22 seconds left in the first half, Doc Rivers gave Kevin Garnett a rest. The rest lasted four and a half minutes. In that time, the Sixers scored seven of the next nine points and took back the lead.
It was a very short stretch, but it illustrated why Garnett is so important to the Celtics. Without his post scoring, Philadelphia’s interior defenders swallowed up Brandon Bass and Ryan Hollins. Without his defense and rebounding, the 76ers found a couple open shots they may not have found with Garnett in the game.
This is the scary thing for the Celtics going forward. If they want to make another deep run, they need Garnett to play a lot of minutes, because they have problems when he doesn’t. Can he keep that up?