Yesterday, I penned a column about the Celtics' chances in the postseason, highlighting five critical situations they will most likely encounter.
If only I had waited another day, I could have saved myself a lot of time.
Here's Column 2.0: The Redux.
They're screwed. The end.
Believe me, I'm trying to remain positive here. I want to believe that if the Celtics can get to the Eastern Conference Finals—which, given the TV-based structure of the playoffs in which teams get 14 off days per series, isn't likely to come around until sometime in October—Garnett will be able to give it a go. I'd like to think he can gut out seven against Cleveland and seven more after that, if Boston is lucky enough to survive.
I want to. But I'm having a hard time.
Here's the thing. I think the Celtics as presently constituted can get past Chicago and probably Orlando—the biggest imposter team in the league—but there's little chance they're knocking Cleveland out without a full complement of players. That's just reality.
But it's more than that. The Celtics wrapped up everything they needed to wrap up months ago, meaning that since somewhere in the middle of winter I've been counting the days until the playoffs begin. There's been nothing else to worry about.
There hasn't been a truly meaningful game in weeks.
But this weekend is what I'd been waiting for. Saturday, it was all going to begin anew.
And then the NBA injury gods kicked me right in the groin.
It's going to take an incredible amount of loyalty and perhaps a case of Miller High Life to keep me positive at this point. My spirit is wilting. Quickly.
Because what if this is it? What if the Kevin Garnett we all knew and loved is gone forever? At his age, and with his mileage, you have to wonder how much is really left in the tank. I'm hoping a lot; I'm expecting less.
When the Celtics acquired him from Minnesota, everyone knew the window of opportunity was small, and closing by the second. But the over-under on years that KG, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce would be effective together was somewhere around three. That we may never see it again is more than a little depressing.
But all I can do now is hold onto my glimmer of hope. I pray that if the Celtics can topple Chicago and Orlando, Garnett might manage a heroic return in the conference finals the likes of which we've never seen. I dream of him hoisting another championship trophy, knee wrapped in heavy ice, tears streaming down his face.
After all, it was he himself who so publicly told me anything was possible.
I guess we're about to find out.
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