Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Basketball, Boston, Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA, Sports
Way to go ruin the New Year for me Kevin, nice work.
Seriously, if there is one thing the Boston Celtics could not afford to happen, it was lose Kevin Garnett. With Shaquille O’Neal, Semih Erden, and Jermaine O’Neal all missing time recently and nowhere near the perfect bill of health, it was crucial to have the one cog up front.
That cog was Kevin Garnett, and he has broken down(again).
Downplay the injury all you want. “They haven’t come out with anything yet, it isn’t his knee it’s just a muscle.” I’m pretty sure Doc Rivers has already gone into damage control, announcing that he has deemed this injury something he “isn’t too worried about.”
What? Did I catch that correctly?
Call me stupid, but I’ve seen this before. Kevin Garnett goes up for an alley-oop in 2008 uncontested and comes down with some type of knee injury. As if that isn’t enough, the Celtics turned into the New England Patriots of the NBA downplaying the severity of his injury for weeks. He goes on to miss 25 regular season games and all of the playoffs, seriously hampering the team in terms of production on both ends of the floor.
It’s also been noted that KG is not a quick healer. Look at last season, when it took him 3/4 of the year just to come “somewhat close” to playing at his old level.
The man has played 15 years in the NBA, nagging leg injuries are the last type of injury he should have to deal with. Just ask new teammate Shaquille O’Neal, leg injuries just aren’t the same as you get older.
Optimistically speaking, this isn’t the end all be all of the Boston Celtics. In 2008-09, the team went 18-7 without KG and reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. This year, the front-court is a lot deeper. Shaq, Erden, Jermaine O’Neal, and Glen Davis all play meaningful minutes. An addition by subtraction type deal will unfold in the coming months when Kendrick Perkins returns from his torn ACL.
If anyone is to step up it is most likely Glen Davis. Davis has redefined his scoring options, adding a much improved jump shot to his repetoire. He gives energy minutes and sizes up surprisingly well against bigger opponents. Obviously the man is no Kevin Garnett, but could fill his role if utilized correctly by Doc Rivers.
The biggest concern when losing Kevin Garnett is the leadership/intensity he brings on the defense. He is the floor general, commanding one of the stingiest defense’s in the league year in and year out. 6 million Glen Davis’ could not mask the fallout the Celtics will have on the defensive end without him.
Now I for the life of me hope that I’m wrong. Hopefully this is just a “calf-muscle injury” and KG may miss time this winter, but have ample game time to respond prior to the playoffs. This does not become a nagging injury like the last lower leg injury he suffered, and does not derail the explosiveness he’s regained for this season. Big Baby will fill in for KG proudly, and it will be a full team effort while the Celtics respond from injuries.
Alas, I’ve seen this before. And all the optimism in the world from the Celtics could not tone down the overwhelming feeling of concern. We’ve seen this before, it didn’t end well for KG. Maybe the most important stat missed in all this is that when KG has been in the lineup, this team has reached the NBA finals. Without him, can they seriously compete this season with the Magic or Heat?
Here’s to hoping the MRI reveals just a muscle strain!
- Mark Chiarelli
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Baseball, Boston, Carl Crawford, MLB, Red Sox, Sports
With the official press conference in the books, Carl Crawford has now become the newest member of the Boston Red Sox.
Well Red Sox fans, what more could you ask for? Months after the team was placed with tags such as “boring” and “flat”, months after television ratings dipped rather sharply, the Sox have struck back.
Facing criticism for not spending money on Victor Martinez and a subtle undercurrent of disappointment by Red Sox nation, Theo Epstein went out and made a splash. Apparently one isn’t good enough, he had to see if the second could outdo the first.
Just days after finalizing a deal for one of the most feared sluggers in the game Boston inked one of the most dynamic players as well.
Touche Theo, Touche.
Crawford brings Boston a level of play that most have not seen in the years since John Henry and co. took over. The David Ortiz’s, Manny Ramirez’s of the world are no longer penciled into the lineup. What Boston has now is a diversified lineup which can hit you in many different ways. Think about it; With the addition of Crawford, the Sox now have two perennial base stealing leaders in himself and Jacoby Ellsbury. There is still the pop in the middle with Youkilis, Gonzalez, and Ortiz. Don’t forget about mr.do everything and former MVP Dustin Pedroia.
One stat which blew me away was that Carl Crawford joins only Ted Williams and Nomar Garciaparra in the elite Red Sox who have hit .300, 15 home runs, and 10 triples in one season. When you’re already being compared to Ted Williams days after signing a contract, you know there’s something special here.
As of right now it will be tough to predict what Terry Francona plans to do with the lineup card. If it was up to me, it would look something like this.
- Carl Crawford
- Dustin Pedroia
- Adrian Gonzalez
- Kevin Youkilis
- David Ortiz
- J.D Drew
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia
- Marco Scutaro
- Jacoby Ellsbury
Now it all depends on how warm Crawford is about the idea of hitting leadoff. I favor this lineup because it allows Pedroia to hit in the 2, spot, a spot where he has succeeded above all the rest. It also keeps the Left/Right combo running for almost the entire lineup. Couple that with your 8-9 hitters being OBP/Lead-off type hitters setting the table for the guys at the top and you have a legitimately scary starting card.
Since 2007, the Yankees have gone out and made giant news trying to re-tool and out perform Boston’s lineup. In the inevitable game of the chess that is the A.L East, the Sox countered with Gonzalez and Crawford.
The scary thing is, neither team is done. The Red Sox still desperately need arms in the bullpen. It wouldn’t be an MLB off-season with the Yankees making at least one big transaction. Buckle up baseball fans, it’s go time.