Can the Celtics afford to keep resting Kevin Garnett?

It's getting close to panic time without KG.
Yesterday we heard from Doc Rivers that Kevin Garnett was "feeling a lot better" and that he was "fine."  Most importantly, Doc said "If we were in the playoffs tonight, Kevin would absolutely be playing."  Well, last night wasn't the playoffs, and the KG/Pierce-less Celtics dropped another game to a bad team.  They gave up 110 points to the Timberwolves, and lost by 10 despite shooting 52% from the field.

In the last 6 games that Garnett has missed, Celtics opponents have averaged 104.5 points per game.  During that stretch the C's have held just one team (the Cavs, in a 93-92 win) under 100, and Boston is 2-4 overall.  In their lone impressive victory (at home vs the Hawks) they still allowed 107 points to Atlanta, but managed to shoot 54.2% on the way to scoring 118 themselves.

The C's defense without Garnett is horrible, and they need him back sooner rather than later.  Boston's lead over Milwaukee for the 7th seed has been trimmed to 1.5 games, but since the Bucks hold the tiebreaker (by winning 3 of 4 head to head this year) it's actually just half a game.  At first glance the Celtics appear to have an easy week ahead, hosting Detroit, Cleveland, and Washington.  But they've struggled against the Pistons this year (losing both games by a combined 35 points), and the Wizards are actually 16-11 in their last 27 games with a healthy John Wall.  Boston could easily drop 2 of these next 3 without Garnett, and is in serious danger of being passed by Milwaukee.

This leads me to believe one of three things:
1. Doc/Danny actually want the Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
2. Garnett's injury is worse than they are letting on.
3. They are extremely confident in how good they will be with a fully rested and healthy KG, and nothing else matters.

I hope the answer is #3, but I'm skeptical.

Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan