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Friday, March 27, 2009

Defending champions still dangerous

By Chad Garner
Fan Fanatic Sports Staff

Can the Celtics repeat?
After beating the L.A. Lakers in last year's NBA Finals, it seemed like it was a very good possibility if, and only if, the Celtics could avoid injury.
Well, the dreaded injury bug has struck in Beantown and struck real hard.
Who hasn't been hurt for the Celtics this season? These guys sure know how to dress since we've seen them in street clothes on the bench for much of the season.
While Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins and Tony Allen have all missed time, there's no bigger blow to a team than when the heart and soul of your club misses significant time.
It happened to the Celtics with Kevin Garnett going down with a knee injury. He missed 13 games, and is just starting to work his way back into the lineup. In four games since his return, Garnett has scored only 10-10-12-4 points, while averaging around 14-16 minutes per game.
Those stats are nothing to brag about, but the key is he's back and trying to get as close to 100 percent as possible before the start of the playoffs sometime in late April.
No need to push the limits big fella, we need you primed and ready for the playoffs.
Boston needs Garnett. Not for one second does any Celtiics fan think they can repeat without the complete package Garnett. His play and his leadership and intensity were missed greatly. Defensive production was down and so was scoring.
Boston is only 5-5 in its last 10 games, and lost to Orlando on Wednesday, 84-82, to drop to 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings.
But championships aren't won in March or during the regular season.
Cleveland sits in first, followed by Orlando and Boston. Don't forget about the Lakers in the Western Conference. They all can take down the Celtics in the playoffs.
But with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen (so much for being washed up, huh!), Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Eddie House, Leon Powe, Glen Davis and Stephon Marbury ... oh, I forgot the Great White Hope Brian Scalabrine ... the Celtics, if healthy, can do this.
Yes, they are the hunted this year, but nothing really rattles this veteran group -- Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen wouldn't let it anyway.
I like how everyone is talking about Cleveland, Orlando and the Lakers as the next champion.
Go ahead and bury the Celtics, I'm not.
Here's to good health and hopefully another championship banner!

1 comment:

  1. If the Celtics are healthy the only team to worry about are the Cavs. Orlando is very soft even with Howard and home court.