Depending on who you ask, Kevin Garnett either sat out last night’s game to heal a bruised thigh or for “strategic rest.” As would be expected after the Celtics completely hid the extent of Garnett’s injury last season, Celtics nation is freaking out about Garnett missing the game, and the vagueness of the reason for his absence. (Strategic rest? You can do better than that, Danny Ainge. That sounds more like a power nap than a reason to miss an NBA game.)
How can we trust that Garnett is okay, when they tried to tell us he was okay last season… and then he missed the rest of the season?
We can’t. And speculation will continue until Garnett comes back and shows his health.
In the meantime, here’s a sign that Garnett was actually feeling pretty well (at least before his latest setback)…
According to Hoop Data, Garnett’s shot was blocked six times in this season’s first eight games. Since, he hasn’t been blocked once.
Now, that could be merely a coincidence, but I doubt it. Garnett was working himself back into shape, getting off the floor more quickly, and moving more swiftly. He was making progress towards regaining his athleticism, and that’s easily evident by the fact that he is no longer getting his shots blocked.
For awhile, he was laboring to get off the floor, and opponents were able to send his shots right back to where they came from. But those days were gone, and Garnett had started to turn the corner.
But now a setback (strategic rest, bruise, whatever it may be) has us wondering what the hell happened to KG. It has us wondering if he’ll play against the Magic. It has us wondering if the Celtics recalled Bill Walker from the D-League as KG insurance. It has us wondering what the hell strategic rest is.
Most of all, though, his setback has us wondering whether it’s just a small hitch in his recovery (the recovery we thought was going so very well), or if it’s a sign of bad health that will continue for the rest of the season.
(Thanks go out to Tom Haberstroh, who pointed out this stat on his Twitter account. If you don’t follow him, you should… he works for Hoop Data, used to be a researcher for ESPN, and Tweets some very interesting statistics.)