Celtics fans and the media have been focusing on the fact that we won't have KG for at least the first round and possibly the whole playoffs. There are naysayers everywhere who feel that the Celtics don't have a chance without KG.
But, the Celtics' title defense is about who they have, not who they don't have. To begin with, the Celtics have 2 definite future Hall of Famers in Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Both Pierce and Allen have had one of the best seasons of their careers this year and both have grown as team players and both have had to carry teams in the past.
Beyond Pierce and Ray, you have to look at Rondo. Rondo should have been an All Star and will be one next season. In his 3rd season, Rondo has out played just about every point guard in the league at one time or another. If a team needs 3 start to win a title, they have the 3rd one in Rondo.
And rounding out the starting five is Kendrick Perkins who has become one of the top defensive centers in the NBA. He has been able to cut down on fouls so that he can stay on the floor. He is an enforcer and defends the paint as well or better than any other player in the playoffs.
The Celtics much maligned bench has become a very solid and deep unit. Starting with Leon Powe and Big Baby, both players have grown in leaps and bounds since last season. Then, there is Tony Allen who has looked pretty good since he got back from the injury. And is there a better shooter off the bench than Eddie House? None that I know of. Scal is expected back by the 3rd game. He was really playing well when he went out with the concussions and hopefully will pick up where he left off. He can play anywhere from center to small forward and can be a matchup problem for other teams. Bill Walker hasn't seen a lot of playing time but I think he can help the team in the playoffs. He is a tough kid who plays in your face defense. If we need someone to get under somebody's skin, Walker's your guy. I doubt Gabe Pruitt will see any time in the playoffs, but he is there if we need him as a scorer or defender. That brings us to Stephon Marbury and Mikki Moore, both of whom have been been getting better and better and will make a difference in the playoffs.
This is not to say that the Celtics won't still depend on KG for support and the intensity he will bring while sitting on the bench. He will be in the huddle giving his teammates inspiration and encouragement. I love this video. KG will be there doing whatever he can to give his team the edge.
Now that everyone is counting the Celtics out, winning will be that much sweeter. The Celtics are determined to overcome the loss of KG and pull together as a team to get it done. This is where their mental toughness will come into play and the experience they gained last season will be invaluable. It is certain that the Celtics won't be sitting around and missing KG. They won't give his absence as an excuse to lose. Instead of whining, they will be winning.