I can't possibly be the only person watching the Celtics and Heat play right now that is noticing the Celtics have no energy on defense. Boston, both last night against the Bulls and tonight vs. the Wadeless Heat, seem content to sit back and give the opposition open shots in hopes of simply outscoring teams who can put up points as well as anyone in the league.
The stat ESPN just showed is that without Kevin Garnett the Celtics are giving up 99.5 points per game as apposed to 91.6 points per game with the Big Ticket in the lineup.
The fact is that the Celtics aren't missing KG's stats at either end of the floor. When Leon Powe and Glenn Davis played Garnett's minutes they were matching his numbers point for point and board for board. So if Garnett's statistical production is being accounted for, why are the Celtics only 9-6 when he is out of the lineup this season?
Simple Answer: Leadership. You can say all you want about Paul Pierce being the captain of this team, but when the Celtics are out on the floor Garnett is the general. KG is the one who is not only organizing the troops on defense, but moving the ball around on the offensive end of the floor to ensure the C's are getting legitimate production. The Celtics without KG are so unbelievable unpatient when they have the ball it is sickening. They are very reminiscent of my cousin's high school team (his team was 4-20 this season).
I know it isn't in the Celtics' nature to panic, especially with a playoff spot locked up, and I also don't usually take what Mark Jackson says to heart, but he made a comment earlier in the telecast tonight when he said, "I hope the Celtics don't get in the habit of thinking it is okay to lose games". Right now Boston has come out and acknowledged that winning is secondary to being healthy. It makes sense to a point that being healthy for the playoffs is more important that having an amazing regular season record, but if the Celtics stumble their way into the postseason, is it even going to matter if they are heathly?