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Friday, January 22, 2010
Numbers don't lie: C's need Garnett

By Chris Forsberg

ESPN researcher Jeremy Lundblad breaks down the numbers and shows just how much the Celtics have missed Kevin Garnett the past 10 games...

Just in case last season was not evidence enough, the past 10 games have only reinforced what was already obvious: The Celtics need Kevin Garnett. Badly.

Last season with Garnett in the fold, the Celtics were 44-13 and seemingly destined to repeat. Without him, they stumbled to an 18-7 record, 25-14 if you include the postseason.

This season, the Celtics are once again winning about 75 percent of the games in which Garnett has played (22-7). Without him, they are reeling, with losses in six of their past 10.

So yes, the Celtics are better off with the future Hall of Famer on the court. That goes without saying. His expected return Friday is a welcome momentum shift for a Celtics team that hasn't used its regular starting lineup since Dec. 20.

But why? What is it about Garnett that's so valuable? Why, despite having added Rasheed Wallace, are the Celtics unable to survive without him?

One word: defense.


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