This has been our season of return to mortality. We have seen our Big 3 get hurt, our home court invaded too many times and our defensive armor pierced at will. Unlike the 2007/08 season when we faced no injuries or identity crisis, this year we have experimented all kind of setbacks.
The Big 3 -the soul of team and the reason why we won it all in 2008- has experienced their worst season together:
The Captain has been slowed by a chain of unfortunate mysterious injuries. Liquid in the knees, shoulder stinger, thumb tweak...everything minor injury that could disturb his rhythm has cursed him to have his worst season in a long time. For a long time, Paul didn't look as himself. Hopefully he will avoid any other setback to fully recover for the playoffs.
Ray Allen experienced a mentally burden for half of the season. Everybody thought he would be traded in February, and maybe even himself thought so. That installed some insecurity, some mental barrier that surely affected his game. Not until the deadline passed he started to play considerably better. Nevertheless, Doc playing him big minutes has affected his legs in the last weeks. If someone could use a breather for the final games, that would be Ray.
But the biggest test, the longer and tougher task during the whole year has fallen on Kevin Garnett. We have seen him drag his leg, miss layups, avoid dunks, and more importantly he had problem sustaining 1 on 1 plays against other players. I must admit I thought Kevin Garnett would always be invincible, a brutal display of aggressiveness on the floor. Never in my life had I seen a player with such a unique talent being rewarded by nature with the most supernatural physical embodiment. For his whole career, KG has relied on his special body frame and athleticism to display all the talent and skills he had learned in his first years in the league. Until now.
This year, KG has struggled because in his mind he was the same player that dominated for 14 years in the league. Mentally it must have been very tough for him to acknowledge that his leg has made him mortal, beatable, more...normal. He adjusted his game during the year, the same way as Larry Bird in the 90's or even MJ in his Washington years. Still, MJ played some sensational games back then and our Larry Legend had great numbers and good years even though he was considerably hurt.
The question I would like to ask on this Easter day is: what can we expect from our emotional leader in the playoffs and for next season? How is his knee right now, how healthy is he? Will KG be KG when important games matter?
Though Rajon Rondo is the blood of this team, burning and running new life into its aging body, the truth is that that blood is born day after day from the heart and soul of Kevin Garnett. Ray is the executer, Paul is the head and Rasheed is our rage. With a healthy heart, the body is alive. Without our soul, the rest of our body will not last for long in the postseason. How healthy, strong and alive is our heart?
If KG can be the KG from 2008, there is for sure no other team in the competition better than our beloved Boston Celtics. Bohemian 4/04/2010 03:42:00 AM Tweet Edit