Big Baby is the latest Celtic to go down

Big Baby is the latest Celtic to go down

All sports teams are forced to deal with injuries throughout the course of a season, but injuries to this year’s Celtics team are piling up at an alarming rate. The latest injury to Glen Davis leaves the team with five players out, including two starters. The C’s have battled injuries before and found players willing to step up, but this recent string could be too much to deal with. Doc Rivers has put a positive spin on this, stating that he would rather have a team that’s 100% for the playoffs, even if it means giving up home court advantage. Furthermore, Doc has suggested that these injuries give the new Celtics an opportunity to get some playing time and learn the system. Although Doc is showing some optimism, should Celtics fans be worried about the possible implications of these injuries?

Sunday’s game against Orlando proved just how valuable Rajon Rondo is to the offense. Without Rondo, the C’s looked absolutely lost, and new addition Stephon Marbury does not look ready to run the offense. Glen Davis has provided great energy as a replacement for KG, but his injury on Sunday hurts the team even more, and will now put a lot of pressure on a very thin front line. All of this suggests that the Celtics may not capture the top seed, and will most likely be forced to play some tough games on the road.

Last year’s postseason showed just how important home court advantage was, as the Celtics struggled greatly on the road. If this trend continues, then these late season games could really make a difference. Obviously one cannot argue with the logic that the Celtics’ key players need to be 100% for the postseason, but that doesn’t mean that we can afford a losing streak in these last 5 weeks. Let’s take a look at the current depth chart:

Point Guard:
Stephon Marbury
Gabe Pruitt

Shooting Guard
Ray Allen
Eddie House
J.R. Giddens

Small Forward
Paul Pierce
Bill Walker

Power Forward
Leon Powe

Kendrick Perkins
Mikki Moore

While it’s no time to panic, it doesn’t appear that the C’s will keep their pace with this squad. Depending on how long players like Rondo and KG sit out for, teams like Cleveland and Orlando could take a considerable lead on the defending champs. The fact that we have not won a game in Cleveland in 2 seasons is reason enough to be a little bit alarmed.

One must wonder then if certain players will be forced to return earlier than expected. Doc seems pretty set in his ways about getting guys ready for the playoffs, but he also understands how important a top seed is to this team. Also, while this gives players like Marbury a chance to play more, wouldn’t he be better off playing with guys like KG and Allen? If we’re hoping for him and Moore to make an impact in the playoffs, they need to be comfortable playing with the rest of the team. These injuries make it difficult to get the offense on the same page, and might force the team to do some scrambling in April.

Despite these worries, the Celtics are still the defending champs, and have shown in these last few weeks that they won’t back down when faced with injuries. Still, with the importance of home-court advantage, one must hope that these important players return soon. Rondo is instrumental to the offense, and KG is defensive player of the year. Meanwhile, Tony Allen is the team’s best perimeter defender, despite his lackluster offense. And despite some criticism, Scalabrine has proved his worth this year, especially in the games that he started. The C’s do need to be at full strength for the playoffs, but let’s hope they can keep pace with Cleveland and Orlando in these tough times.