The Celtics faced the Magic a year ago and pushed them to 7 games. So it is tempting to take those results, add Kevin Garnett, and assume that the Celtics have enough to beat Orlando this year. But alas, it isn't that easy. Sure, we could win this time, but the math is more complex than just adding KG.
First of all, any Magic fan will quickly remind you that Orlando was missing Jameer Nelson, who was an all star last year before his injury and has been arguably the best Magic thus far in this year's playoffs. Also, you have to wonder how the swapping of Hedo Turkoglu and Vince Carter will impact the matchups.
Also, the rotations are different. I'm not familiar with the finer points of the Magic rotations, but I know that having Garnett in the fold means relying less on Big Baby. Plus Rasheed has 6 fouls and an outside game that could cause some trouble at some point. Also, Tony Allen could prove to be a best to Vince Carter and their other perimeter shooters.
Rondo will have to stay close to Jameer instead of roaming for steals. And his drives to the basket will be much more challenging with the big guy waiting for him. Garnett can't expect to dominate the post like he did in Cleveland so he'll be much more of a jump shooter.
I'm really hoping that we don't see J.J. Reddick get hot from outside again this year. I'm already anticipating not liking Matt Barnes again.
You could look back at the regular season, but honestly, I'm not sure what you can reasonably infer from those meetings. Both teams seem to be playing at their best right now and both play fantastic defense.
While the core of these two teams has remained unchanged in the last year, there are significant enough differences to make for a new and unique result. The Celtics can win this series, but it isn't as easy as adding a healthy Garnett to the mix. It has to be another team-wide effort. In other words, the whole must be more than the sum of its parts. How's that for complex math?