Yesterday I poked fun at the Lakers' bench. Well, let's be honest. I poked fun at everyone on the Lakers except Kobe and Gasoft. Little did I know that Sashy Vigatooth had been cut from the Slovenian National Team. Yikes. Now that's the Vigatooth I know and love. The guy who showed up in the second half of game 3 of the 2008 NBA Finals? Never saw him before, haven't seen him since. Good luck trading him, Adam Morrison, or Luke Walton. Then again, Chris Wallace still manages an NBA team, right?
If the Lakers' won the 2009 championship with that bench, and that bench really hasn't improved one iota, the question becomes whether the Celtics could have won the championship last year with Rasheed Wallace on their playoff roster (caught you, you thought I was going to ask whether they could have won it with a healthy KG, but noooooooooooo!!!!). This seems like a timely question, because today is Kevin-Garnett-Knee Day on my blog, a day that will probably be repeated, at least spiritually, until I get proof his knee is indeed 100%.
I don't know the answer to my question, but we may find out the answer this year. Suppose KG isn't healthy or doesn't stay healthy and is unavailable (God forbid) for the 2009-10 NBA Playoffs. Further suppose that everyone else on the Celtics' roster is healthy for the playoffs. Do the Celtics have a chance to win it all? Well, the Cavs and the Magic have gotten stronger, while the Spurs may or may not have gotten strong enough to supplant the Fakers. My first thought would be, no, the Celtics couldn't beat the Magic or the Cavs in a 7-game series. But wait a second.
The Celtics took the Magic to 7 games last spring without KG, and now we're talking about adding Rasheed Wallace. We've also added Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams. These guys were meant to replace Tony Allen and Mikki Moore, two non-contributors from the playoffs last year. The Magic meanwhile lost Hedo Turkoglu, replacing him with the unpredictable Vince Carter. They also made some other additions. I might give the Magic an edge, but then again, I might not. We'd need to see how things played out. The Cavs also appeared to improve on paper. We never win in Cleveland. So the edge here would go to Cleveland, but still a slight edge and not one we can fully evaluate until we see how the two teams match up.
Here's the kicker:
Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, Shelden Williams, and Eddie House are on the last year of their contracts. Bill Walker and JR Giddens have team options for next year. Glen Davis is signed for reasonable money over two years. That sounds like a package of contracts we could deal for an impact player in the event KG isn't healthy. Plus, the Celtics have next year's first rounder to deal.
So while I count myself as a worshipper at the House of Garnett, and will remain optimistic about his health until the evidence proves otherwise, I'm not going equate our title hopes with Garnett's health or close the door on banner 18 because Garnett's health is iffy.
Most of you won't agree. But my equilibrium will be steadier if I take this approach.