With Kevin Garnett's Health In Question, Do The Celtics Still Have A Shot?
Does this make the Cavaliers the favorite to win the East? They're already in the enviable position of having the first seed in the East, which means home court advantage through the Conference Finals, and that means more in the NBA than anywhere else.
The Celtics, on the other hand, are battling with Orlando for the #2 seed, which is also pivotal, since that would determine home court advantage in the matchup between those two teams, when they almost inevitably meet in the second round.
The Celtics desperately need to hold on to the #2 seed, because their performance at home is significantly better than it is on the road, and it could prove to be the difference between a trip to the Conference Finals and a loss to Orlando in the 2nd round.
Last year, they won the NBA Championship with a 3-9 playoff record on the road, thanks to a ridiculous13-1 home record. They are clinging on to a slim lead over the Magic for the 2nd seed with only 6 games remaining, but it looks like they will be able to hold on. Without Garnett, however, there are certainly no guarantees. They needed 2 overtimes to beat the Bobcats last night at home, so clearly this team isn't the same as they are with KG on the court.
Even if he does come back at full strength for the playoffs, is this team still good enough to repeat? The Cavaliers look stronger than ever, and Kobe Bryant's Lakers have owned them this year. They'll need KG at his best, and they'll need as many games in TD Banknorth Garden as they can possibly get.