Found March 27, 2013 on The Nosebleeds:
Knicks 100, Celtics 85 A skeleton crew of Boston Celtics were unable to compete with the New York Knicks (43-26) for 48 minutes on Tuesday night. With Kevin Garnett (ankle) and Courtney Lee (ankle) unable to play, Coach Doc Rivers was forced to start Jeff Green at power forward, and Jordan Crawford and shooting guard. While both of these young guys played well, their insertion into the starting lineup negated any productivity off the bench. Jason Terry was the only non-starter to score for Boston in the first half, and while the C’s hung around for until late in the third quarter, the Knicks second unit put them away by closing the quarter with a 14-0 run. The Knicks bench outscored the Celtics reserves by a margin of 41 to 19, Boston committed 20 turnovers, and allowed 15 offensive rebounds to a New York team that was missing their starting center (Tyson Chandler) as well. These statistics speak to the importance of Garnett. For the past five years, he has been more than just the heart and soul of the Celtics. He is their defensive leader, their best rebounder, communicator, screen-setter, and shot-blocker. They can not consistently defeat good teams without K.G., and that is exactly why the C’s are taking a cautionary approach by resting the 36-year-old veteran for at least four or five games. While the Celts have now lost five straight and are in danger of falling to eighth position in the Eastern Conference, it is still more important for them to have a healthy Garnett no matter who they may play in the postseason. They are now only 1.5 games ahead of the Bucks, putting them in danger off a first-round matchup with the Miami Heat. Yet, the road to the finals will go through Miami no matter what, so it seems unlikely that playing them right away would diminish the Celtics chances. What would diminish their chances is playing with a hobbled Garnett, an exhausted Paul Pierce, or falling victim to another injury to a key rotational player. For now, C’s fans can take this losing streak with a grain of salt, and hope that the long-term damage is minimal when it comes to seeding. Strangely enough, they will be rooting for the 76ers and Lakers- the Bucks’ opponents on Wednesday and Thursday night- while praying that the Celtics don’t drop a sixth straight game to an equally depleted Cavaliers team in their next game. It’s all about damage control for this team as they try to get healthy without losing too much ground in the race for playoff seeding.
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