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A lot of news is popping up recently about the Celtics frontcourt. Guys are all over the map as far as health, and it seems that for the entire season so far, the Celtics haven’t quite cemented a definite frontcourt rotation. With Jermaine O’Neal leaning towards knee surgery that could sideline him for 2-3 months, the Celtics need their forwards and centers healthy now more than ever. Here’s a couple of possible situations that the Celtics will be dealing with over the remainder of the season.
He isn’t getting any younger, and this latest injury, whether he has surgery or not, pretty much means the end of any major production from J.O. He’s got a history of being injured a lot, but for small amounts of time. This knee problem probably isn’t going to go away, and he’ll have to deal with it one way or another. Two or three months brings us up towards the end of the season if he opts for surgery….what’s the point in easing him back in to the rotation during the playoffs?
Even with Jermaine O’Neal out indefinitely, Kevin Garnett is slated to return as soon as Monday, with Kendrick Perkins’ return on the near horizon. The Celtics defense is already statistically one of the best, but with Kevin Garnett averaging over nine rebounds a game before his injury, and Perk being one of the best defenders at his position in the league, I think the Celtics’ defense will see a spark in the very near future.
Is Semih Erden an awesome player? Not really. But he’s got the game’s fundamental’s down, and has used the time he’s been given well for what he is, a project player. Although not a guarentee, until both KG and Perk are back in the lineup, there’s no reason for Doc Rivers not to give him more short-term playing time. The Celts need it just as much as Erden does right now.
Rumors are already circulating that ‘Sheed wants back in the Celtics’ rotation. This is a pretty unlikely situation. The Celtics already have their roster maxed out, which means they’d have to essentially give up something to get him. And the logic of replacing an aged, injured big man with a retired, injury-prone big man is, well, stupid.
All in all, I think we’re heading in the right direction, as long as Garnett and Perkins can retain their health. I’m expecting better production with some healthy players, although O’Neal’s presence will be missed. It remains to be seen how efficient Garnett and Perkins are right out of the gate, but all of these changes will definitely make for an exciting remainder of the season.