Intensity, Passion and Defense: Fixing the Boston Celtics

Akash ACorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2010

SAN ANTONIO - DECEMBER 03:  Forward Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics reacts during play against the San Antonio Spurs on December 3, 2009 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.  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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

A common question I hear being tossed around local radio stations and television networks is “Are the Celtics out?” In other words, can the C’s retain the dominance which they had previously held over the NBA, just a few weeks ago?

In a word: yes.

People forget that the Celtics are missing their defensive leader, Kevin Garnett. Atop his absence is Paul Pierce’s injury. Pierce is playing, but his knee still is not 100 percent, affecting his ability to drive to the basket. Apparent in his play, Pierce’s first half performances have been regularly better than his second half performances, as he seems far less explosive after half time.

This most likely occurs because his knee pains begin to kick in towards the end of games.

Also, fans are forgetting that for a stretch, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Rasheed Wallace were all out for a few games in early January, contributing to their recent lack of success.

When Kevin Garnett returns on Friday, however, do not expect all problems to magically “disappear” for Boston. KG needs to strengthen his knee before returning to full strength.

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