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Don't Panic! (Yet)

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It is easy (very easy) to draw a line of comparison from this injury to the ones that plagued Kevin Garnett the last couple of years.  Seeing him crumple to the floor without any noticeable contact with anyone else is downright terrifying.  And it doesn't hurt that the team has played poorly (with or without KG) since Christmas - continuing a dreary trend.  So are there any reasons for optimism?  Call me an eternal optimist or blind faith follower, but I think so.

First of all, not all injuries are created equal.  The early word is that it is not the knee and not a fracture as we originally worried.  It is a calf muscle injury, which still has to be taken seriously (and we await the results of the MRI) but hopefully, hopefully isn't as bad.

Secondly, perhaps we can take that same history that gives us the creeps and take heart from it as well.  A couple of years back when we lost Garnett (even though we didn't know we had lost him for the year yet) the rest of the team stepped up and played very well down the stretch.  Don't forget we were up 3 games to 2 on the Magic that year.  In addition, the team essentially took last winter off before rallying together for a run to the finals.

If the Celtics can weather this latest storm maybe they can get some guys healthy again.  Rondo is close, West could be next, and Perkins is itching to get back on the court - who knows, maybe Jermaine O'Neal will make an appearance too ...what's that you say, he's playing already?  Missed that.  Anyway, whenever Garnett comes back, he'll hopefully have enough support to ease back into the rotation (well, KG doesn't do anything half speed, but you know what I mean).

This isn't to say that things can't go South in a hurry.  We're going to need guys to step up in KG's absence.  It is hard to imagine Pierce or Big Baby playing any better than they have this year.  We'll obviously need more from Jermaine.  We'll need another burst of solid play from Shaq.  Rondo will have to take back the reigns of the offense from Paul.  And most of all the team can't forget to play Championship defense without their Defensive MVP on the court to keep them in check.  Oh yeah, and they can't take January off if they want to keep hold of home court advantage because the Heat and maybe even the Magic are going to be right there at the end.

So let's try to wait until we get more information before we take a cannon-ball off the Ted Williams.  This team has shown a lot of resilience already this season so a calf injury doesn't have to be a back breaker (so to speak).  A lot can and will happen between now and June.  With any luck this will be just another hurdle we had to jump over to get to Banner 18.