Tuesday , Mar , 31 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Legitimate Concerns for the Boston Celtics?

Legitimate Concerns for the Boston Celtics?First, let’s forget the fact of Boston winning their 17th NBA championship a little more than a year ago. This post is dedicated to the common irrational NBA fan who expects nothing less than a repeat of what the Celtics accomplished in last year’s June classic.

My message is simple, and I hope it’s clear enough. Should the Celtics be expected to even make it out of their own conference, let alone the first or second round?

Celtics fans, don’t get your hopes up.

If you’re watching the same games I’m watching and seeing the key pieces rotating in and out of the line up, then you probably have a good idea of where I’m going on this one.

Let’s tackle the issue of Kevin Garnett, the guy who is the glue on and off the court for Boston, who right now is a enormous concern with a strained knee. Doc Rivers may disagree with that statement, but I don’t think my thoughts should be considered outlandish. Why? The Celtics only have seven regular season games remaining, and although I agree on resting your stud big man, you also have to worry about the timing of the injury. If KG loses confidence in his knee, will he have enough time to get back into a rhythm with the playoffs right around the corner?

I call that a legitimate concern. Argue all you want.

Next I think about the potential lack of home court advantage. If the Celtics stay in the 3 seed then they may have a problem. Currently, they are percentage points behind Orlando, but the Magic are playing great basketball, and are as healthy as they are going to get.

If Boston stays with the 3 seed, they would most likely have home court advantage for only the first round. And for the most exciting playoff possibility, a Cavaliers-Celtics series, the Cavs would obviously have the home court, and are an incredible 35-1 at home.

A Boston-Cleveland series heavily depends on the home court. The Celtics had their struggles in the earlier rounds last year, and to think of their chances this year should they meet up with LeBron’s team, it’s a series you can’t honestly put in Boston’s favor.

Could I be selling Boston short? Sure, go quote Kevin Garnett by saying “Anything Is Possible”. After all, this is a team with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett.  Glen Davis has stepped up with the absence of KG. Rajon Rondo has proven he holds a legitimate diploma for running a top-tier NBA team.

But if KG (a key component defensively and in pick-and-rolls) is hurt, you will see a noticeable drop off. He’s the engine that gives the Celtics their edge. His fearlessness on the court is what makes him such a good basketball player, and if he’s not 100 percent and laboring, then one would worry about his teammates feeling a bit of panic.

Doc Rivers is a good coach, and maybe KG will be healthy enough to compete. The Celtics do have something to rely upon, which is KG’s message to the rest of his guys: “Nobody is giving us respect; we’re the world champs”. Admittedly, that could go a long way. We’ll see in a few weeks.