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A Theory On C’s Injuries

The following is a guest column. Guest columns are always welcome at Red’s Army. To submit one, email John: john@redsarmy.com or Chuck: chuck@redsarmy.com. Please note, submitted columns are subject to review, and are not guaranteed to be published


A Unified Theory of the Celtics' Injuries

Many of us have been scratching our heads over the injuries this year. Why is KG out over a month with just a "muscle strain"? How could an injury so minor (he was ready to play again in the very game in which he was injured) need so long to heal? And why has KG never appeared on the bench? Is there any connection to last year's injury at about the same time? And what about Powe? We saw him hit his knee, not twist it. How could he play as he did after that injury if it was a "knee sprain" that now requires two weeks to heal? And now Ray Allen has what appears to be a minor injury, and he's out too.

This Unified Theory pulls together all the known facts and precedent mysteries regarding the Cs' injuries this year. What emerges is a coherent picture, albeit an unusual one, of how the Celtics are handling this season. We've heard bits and pieces of this from Doc and Danny, but never the whole story.

This theory postulates two kinds of injuries this year: "Completely Real", and "Expanded". Completely Real includes: Perk, Scal, Rondo, TA, Baby. "Expanded" are KG, probably Ray, and possibly Powe. And one more coming soon.

Last year, KG was out for 3 weeks. And the Cs ended up winning the championship. This year, KG had a variety of aches and pains, and his knee was troubling him, all of which culminated in the Feb 19 injury. That's when a plan that had been percolating in Danny's mind sprung into reality. They (Danny and Doc) decided to "expand" this injury and keep KG out much longer than he required to heal. Long enough to get completely well from all his aches and pains… things he would normally play through…. and then even longer than that. They figured there are many advantages to doing this:
(1) KG would be fresh for the playoffs. With the Cs' playoffs spot already assured, the only reason to continue the maximum fight for every game was home court advantage. For several reasons, Danny and Doc (D&D) did not believe HC was necessary this year.
(2) The Cavs and Lakers are fighting hard to win every game. But EVERY game that Lebron and Kobe play is one more risk for their teams. If either were to be injured for the playoffs, it would be lights out for that team. D&D didn't want that happening to the Celtics.
(3) The Cavs may get the best record in the East, but that did not mean that the Cs would not have home court advantage in the EC Finals. That would only be true IF THE CAVS MADE IT TO THE EC FINALS. They could easily lose prior to that, in which case the Cs could still have home court in the EC Finals. Likewise in the Finals against the West… there is no guarantee that the Lakers will make it all the way. If they don't, once again the Cs could get HC anyway. So what are we really fighting for, thought D&D?
(4) And if the Cs are forced to play without HC, D&D believed they could handle it. They only had to invoke last year's Finals to reach that conclusion.
(5) Better, they calculated, to let KG rest AND AVOID ANY INJURY TO HIM in this critical time period prior to the playoffs… when any injury might not have enough time to heal.
(6) This neatly explains why KG has not been on the bench since his injury, something that has disturbed some of us. The given reason was "Oh, he's just too intense", about which many of us rolled our eyes. Seemed like baloney, because if he can't play anyway what difference does it make if he's on the bench supporting his team? But now it makes sense. KG could not stand to sit on the bench KNOWING THAT HE WAS ACTUALLY READY TO PLAY. That I can understand.
(7) This theory also neatly fits what we know of KG's personality. He would not like this idea, but might do it for the good of the team.
(8) This also explains the apparent coincidence of KG having a similar "unseen" injury last year at about the same time. It was last year's injury that GAVE D&D THE IDEA for the Expanded Injury concept this year.

Once this plan was executed for KG, the thinking probably expanded to include certain other players. Mostly the older ones… mostly the Big Three. Therefore, it is now Ray's turn to have some time off. Ray is much hardier than KG though… he's a smooth, ageless machine out there… so he will need less time off. About Powe's injury I am less certain. He may be included in the Expanded Injury Plan due to some residual aches and pains, and due to the fact that he seems to have already achieved nearly his full potential this year and so needs playing time less than some others on the team.

Which leads us to another advantage of this plan: the extra playing time forced on the Cs' new and young players… especially Marbury, Mikki, and Walker. Since the Cs' biggest weakness was its bench, D&D figured that forcing our guys to go out there and perform would only help strengthen and season the bench, so that if and when they're needed in the playoffs they would be ready. In the end, the difference between winning and losing may well come down to one or all of these guys.

When you weigh the plusses and minuses of this plan, it seems to lean heavily to the plus side.

How should we feel about this? Is it right for the Cs to hold back players that are not injured enough to really warrant it? At first I thought it wasn't… but the more I think about it, the more I like this plan. It's audacious, I don't think it has ever been done before, and it has some risks. But overall, I now think it's a gutsy, great, even visionary move.

Are they lying to us? Well, yes, a little. They can't just come out and tell the whole truth. They have a business to run. People need to come to games, not stay home till the playoffs. Plus who knows what the league would say? But Doc, and to a lesser extent Danny, have hinted at the truth. They've been winking and nodding at us with statements implying that KG has many aches and pains that need to heal, and the explanation that KG is too intense to sit on the bench. Especially that last one doesn't make much sense unless you invoke this Unified Theory. All this is OK with me. Do what you gotta do, guys… to win it all.

This theory leads to a prediction. Sometime after KG comes back but before the end of the regular season, Paul Pierce will take 1-2 weeks off. The stated reason will probably be "muscle strain".

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  • Scott

    Good column, but the notion is utterly ridiculous. We as fans tend to over think a lot of things…this being one of them apparently.

  • Hrvoje

    Save this for April 1

  • Thanks guys. I’m trying not to sound hokie or like I’m bullshitting anyone… but this really is about the fans. I don’t agree with the column either. But Chuck and I talked about and and thought in the end, it’s one fan’s opinion… so why not let it be heard?

  • double P reppin the B

    In some ways I agree with the column. I can totally see them holding Garnett out for longer than needed, especially once they realized we were losing games and would not catch the cavs. When it first happened they said he would be out 2-3 weeks, and well its been longer than that now and I think this may be a reason of that. Also with Ray they are doing the same thing now. I don’t think this was planned early on, I just think now that they see they won’t catch the cavs they are going to start resting the big players for minor injuries that they would play through if it was already the playoffs. Pierce should get maybe 1 or 2 games off himself in the final weeks as well. Good Column and you share some of the same ideas I have been thinking of!

  • thetitleisours

    Well written DRJ. My guess is that they are just cautious rather than any subversive attempt to rest guys. But there could be an subconsciousness influence on how they handle some guys. Who knows.
    They could just do the same thing by playing the starters under 40 and putting up with the mistakes that the bench makes for 10-12 minutes

  • Lakerhater

    Well thought out DRJ, although I’m not covinced Doc has alot to do with the grand schemes of Danny (based on his statements to the press). This could very well come true, and its interesting to see the rash of muscle/hip/sprain/emergency vasectomies occuring amongst the playoff contenders right now.

  • dreambig

    I agree they’re probably holding them out to be cautious but this theory isn’t that convincing. It make sense if KG was the only star on the team. I’d even say Pierce is more important than KG. Pierce and Ray had to play heavy minutes with him out. Rest one wear the others out in the meantime cycle just doesn’t seem that logical to me.

  • DRJ

    Lol… “emergency vasectomies”!
    I would like to thank the redsarmy guys for running this piece. I was surprised to see it, and I agree that it’s great that you do things like this.
    Also wanna say… this is not really my “opinion”… it’s a theory. When we see KG walking around normally backstage, and when he’s out over a month with just a muscle strain (remember, this is KG here… no muscle strain would normally keep him out for a month, the concept is almost ridiculous)… it seemed unlikely that we’re getting the whole story.
    IF this is true, I love it. It’s subversive, it’s unique and bold, and best of all, it thumbs its nose at the league. (Maybe that’s why they hate us, eh? :))

  • Not that I’m totally impressed, but this is more than I expected for when I found a link on SU telling that the info is awesome. Thanks.