I've completely avoided this subject for a while now. Either from fear of jinxing it, or fear of sounding naive, or just from lack of concrete information. But signs are starting to point to a healthier Kevin Garnett (understanding that anyone can get hurt at any time).
This of course would be tremendous. Getting Garnett back to even 90% of what he was for us a few years ago would be like picking up a top level free agent. He is one of those game-changer type of players. When he's on, he can absolutely swing a game with a few defensive stops or key buckets.
So is it true? Is he "healthy" again?
During a drill in yesterday’s first practice of training camp, he jumped effortlessly to dunk a ball with his right hand. There were no second thoughts, no twinges of pain when he landed, no limp in his first step down the court. This is not to say that Celtics fans will see the vintage Garnett from five or six years ago. He will, however, be reminiscent of the Garnett who spearheaded the Celtics’ run to the NBA title in 2008.
Man, sign me up for that. They say that a player won't be himself until a year after getting back on the court after an injury that KG had. Clearly I'm no doctor and I don't really even know who "they" are or if "they" are right, but I hope so. Even if this is true, you have to balance the improved health with his aging body that has had many many miles of wear and tear on it. The best case is that we've got a small window in the next couple years to eek out one more burst of greatness from his Hall of Fame career. We know he's on the downward slop, but sometimes you get one last kick out a player who sees the finish line coming. (See the graph on this CSL article for an idea of what I'm talking about).
So can he really hope for a "healthy" Kevin Garnett? Or should we expect the worst and take anything we get as gravy?
(By the way, at least we know that KG still hasn't lost his trademark intensity. Check out this clip of a Rondo interview where a familiar voice can be heard in the background.)