The Celtics announced earlier today that Kevin Garnett missed the team’s shootaround in Waltham this morning. It was the third straight day Garnett had been sidelined after being diagnosed with a left adductor strain on Friday. At yesterday’s practice, Doc Rivers told reporters ”We don’t know what he’s going to do for Monday. My guess is he’s 50/50 at best [to play].”
Right now, Celtics PR is calling Garnett a game-time decision, but it’s rare for players to play for the C’s after sitting out a shootaround. Boston has only played two games this year without Garnett in the lineup and has won them both. If Garnett’ can’t go, look for Jeff Green to get his second consecutive start of the season in the frontcourt.
Despite the magnitude of the game tonight, the question presents itself. Should C’s fans even want KG to play tonight?
In my opinion, the answer has to be no. Despite how sweet it would be for Boston to end Miami’s 22-game run, the bigger focus has to be on the long term and Garnett’s health. There’s no question KG likely won’t be even close to 100 percent tonight if he goes, so while he would bring an incredible morale boost if he returns, he could make the left groin injury even worse.
To heal an injury like that, you need rest more than anything else, and given the tough odds Boston will face tonight in trying to defeat Miami as is, getting Garnett right for the long-term has to take priority over an improved chance to win tonight.
Boston has a tough three-game road trip looming this week against Western Conference squads. The C’s will need a healthy KG to have a chance for a couple of those games, especially against Memphis.
Thus, the move for tonight should be to rest the big ticket and hope the rest of the roster yet again finds a way to step up their play against the team’s biggest challenge yet.