The Boston Celtics’ star power forward Kevin Garnett has not been himself this season due to a problematic knee. He has missed 16 games because of his ailing knee and returned to play on January 22nd. Garnett has not looked himself since his return and the Celtics’ recent struggles has a lot to do with an unhealthy Garnett. Since his return, Garnett has played in six games and is averaging 13.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 32 minutes per game. Garnett has a very good mid-range jumper, so he is still shooting at a very good percentage during those games (53%), but he has been very gingerly on that knee and is obviously hobbled by it. He has not been aggressively taking it to the rack and is relying too heavily on that jumper. His knee has limited most on the defensive end of the court. Once the key part of a great Celtics’ defense, Garnett is almost a liability on defense now. He doesn’t have the strength, quickness, and lift that we have grown accustomed to seeing from KG and if his knee does not get better soon the Celtics are not going to get far in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Many believe the Celtics should sit Garnett out for a couple of weeks and let his knee heal. I think they should keep Garnett in the lineup, as KG at 80% can still contribute. Playing can also actually help strengthen his knee as long as he is not risking further injury. They should definitely limit his minutes though since they don’t want KG to break down before or when the playoffs start. Around 20-25 minutes per game would be better than the 30-35 minutes they are playing him now.
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