As if things couldn’t get any more difficult for the Boston Celtics, the news broke earlier today that Kevin Garnett will miss 1-2 weeks (at least) due to an an ankle injury. The Celtics are currently reeling on a four game skid, and this is certainly the worst of times to have to face even more adversity. The void that Garnett leaves in not only the Celtics line up, but spirit and intensity alike will most likely be impossible to fill.
The only positives that can be taken from an injury with timing as horrible as this is perhaps this will be just what the Celtics need to wake up their collective heads. Role players that have been inconsistent all year like Brandon Bass and Jeff Green will now be forced to make up the difference and in Doc Rivers’ system, this can sometimes work surprisingly well.
Most likely in the absence of Garnett, Green will be inserted into the starting line up to try to make up for some of the size as well as offense down low that the Celtics will be lacking. The trouble with Green is that his improvements on the glass have only come in tiny increments over long periods of time. Hid individual defense has actually been very admirable, but there is simply no replacing the defensive anchoring abilities and presence that Garnett brings night in and night out.
Rivers has other options in terms of shaking up the rotation but it’s just hard to picture D.J. White or Shavlik Randolph getting meaningful minutes when the Celtics are caught in a tight playoff race to jockey for a better seed. Chris Wilcox always remains an option for Rivers, but it always seems like he really only uses Wilcox when he has no other options.
The best thing to hope for out of this awfully times injury is that maybe it finally forces Bass and Green to find some killer instinct and consistency. Bass has slowly but surely improved his presence on the glass but the Celtics are simply losing a huge amount of contribution and spirit as they will be without the backbone and heartbeat of their team for at least a few games.
Eric St. Cyr Covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow Him on Twitter @ericJsaint