Veteran forward/center Kevin Garnett is the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics, and the team has been struggling without his intensity in the lineup. The Celtics need Garnett back as soon as possible to help end their slide in the standings.
The Celtics are just 34-31 when Garnett plays this season, but are an even worse 4-5 when he doesn’t. No other player on the Celtics roster can match Garnett’s versatility, defense and sheer passion for the game, leaving them with a noticeable void on the court.
Although Garnett is approaching 37 and doesn’t have the same athleticism he had early in his career, he has still been able to contribute a respectable 14.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for Boston. Jeff Green has filled in admirably in Garnett’s absence, but Garnett’s intangibles simply can’t be replaced.
Boston is barely holding on to a one and a half game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for the seventh seed in the East and avoiding a first round match up with the Miami Heat, the team that everyone would like to avoid early in the playoffs. The Celtics are desperate to remain in their current position as that would have them facing the New York Knicks in a series that the Celtics could very well win.
Garnett missed his seventh straight game Wednesday and is scheduled to be out another week, but if he could return sooner that would be a blessing for the Celtics. They need as many healthy players they can get for the stretch run, and having Garnett back should allow them to hold their current seeding and inspire the team going into the playoffs.