The Boston Celtics have won one championship during Kevin Garnett’s tenure with the team. Still, that is one more then they had during the Al Jefferson and Ricky Davis days. If KG did not get hurt during the 2008-2009 season, do the Celtics have a shot at winning the NBA Championship? I say with extreme confidence: yes. That team was a well oiled machine and was fresh off winning the championship the previous year. The Big Three were still relatively in their primes and the team had another great supporting cast around their core.
KG was playing at another level that season. He was dominating as usual and Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were pacing well that season, looking to preserve enough energy in their legs for another deep post season run. You also had Tony Allen, Glen Davis, Leon Powe, and Eddie House on that team. Throw in the old characters Sam Cassell and Stephon Marbury and that is a really solid team. Heck, they were within one game of going to the Eastern Conference Finals without Garnett to face the Cleveland Cavaliers before eventually bowing out to the Orlando Magic.
I am 100% convinced that the Celtics would have beaten the Cavaliers that year, 100%, no question. The only potential road block in the Celtics way were the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers. Can you imagine how great that would have been to have back to back Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals matchups? I am sure David Stern wasn’t thrilled, as Orlando does not quite carry the same pep in their step that the Celtics do. Those playoffs did give us at least some memorable moments, as the first round series with the Chicago Bulls easily has to be one of the best playoff series of all time. I can’t even remember how many total overtimes there were in that series. Ray Allen hit one game winner in that series, and also sent another game to a third overtime after drilling a three pointer to the left of the top of the key.
Anyways, if Garnett was healthy that season could have looked a lot different. It’s too bad because the Celtics were loaded again that year and had that championship moxie from the previous season.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the Celtics homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter at @rlunder18