Loss Of Garnett Seriously Hurts Celtics Chances

Myke Furhman@mykefooCorrespondent IApril 16, 2009

BOSTON - FEBRUARY 08:  Paul Pierce #34 and Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics react after losing to the San Antonio Spurs on February 8, 2009 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Spurs defeated the Celtics 105-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

According to Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, star forward Kevin Garnett is unlikely participate in the playoffs to support the Celtics defense of their 2008 title.  

I want to state this... first and foremost...I am a Celtics fan. A big time Celtics fan. And nothing would make me happier than a repeat championship. However, it's going to be a long road.

The knee injury that kept him out for the end of the regular season didn't heal quick enough, and now he's going to sit in the first round series, and possibly the whole first round. The coaching staff is only telling us game-by-game that he's not going to play...but it's obvious the title defense will be attempted without No. 5.

This is just another instance of the Celtics delaying Garnett's return. Rivers wanted Garnett to get back into playing form down the stretch, but it was made obvious at practice that he's not even close to ready.

And while regular season losses without KG may have kept the Celtics out of the top seed in the Eastern Conference...any loss from hereon out is five times as devastating.

Boston should be okay against the Bulls...afterall, they still feature Ray Allen and Paul Pierce who can take over a game without Garnett. But it's not going to be as easy as it would have been with one of the most dominant forwards in the game.

But after that...Doc better have something up his sleeve.

Obviously "Big Baby" Davis has stepped his game up. He's worked on his 12-foot jumper and is more of a force inside than he ever has been. But let's be honest here, Glen Davis is not Kevin Garnett, not by a long shot.

And what after the Bulls? The second round will obviously be a lot tougher. The Magic and Dwight Howard will be a problem for Big Baby, and if he gets into foul trouble (which he most likely will against Superman), then the Celtics are in a world of hurt.

And even after them, the Cavaliers and King James, and after that is the Lakers...it's not a great outlook.

So while I hope we get KG back, even if he's not 100 percent, we need a prayer and some players to step it up big time to get deep into these playoffs. Otherwise, as the Big Three get older, the Celtics could return to the form we'd like to forget from earlier in the decade.