The defending champion Boston Celtics are holding down the second slot in the Eastern Conference behind Cleveland, with only 13 games left in the season. Though the team continues, Kevin Garnett's season has been interrupted and hasn't played since Feb. 19 against the Jazz, when he left in the second quarter with a right knee strain.
Garnett isn't the only injury problem in Boston. Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis, Leon Powe, Brian Scalabrine, and Tony Allen have also been injured during the season. Boston only has a 1/2 game lead over Orlando for the second spot with 13 to go.
Rondo is playing with a sprained ankle. While it's an injury that can linger, Doc said they would try to rest Rondo in April, once the rest of the team is healthy. Allen hyperextended his elbow and is listed as day-to-day.
Although it seems the team is having trouble right now, when they are healthy, they will be extremely tough to beat.
Cleveland seems to be running away with the conference, as they lead by four games. Boston management has made major transactions during the season to help the bench—like P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell were added last year—picking up Stephon Marbury and Miki Moore.
Marbury who hadn't played a game in over a year hasn't seemed to get back in his groove yet but it's coming.
Miki Moore who wasn't getting much playing time in Sacramento has been a great pickup for Boston as he can help fill the gap left by KG. The Celtics have been criticized by many and have been thrown out of a repeat chance, as its LeBron and Kobe getting all the attention.
Don't forget now, Cleveland did fall to the KG-less Celtics on Mar. 6. This proved how good the Celtics could still be. Yes, the C's did fall to the Lakers both times this season, but it was in the regular season; the playoffs are totally different.
The Celtics will be fine when the team gets healthy. In a matchup of a one seed vs. a healthy team, I would take the healthy team any day. The Celtics have one more game on the road against the Magic and the Cavs. The team should be at full strength by then, and the Celts will prove why they are the defending champs.
Eastern Conference Finals: Boston beats Cleveland 4-2
Western Conference Finals: Los Angeles 4-1 over Houston
Finals: Boston 4-2 over Los Angeles
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