Garnett is likely gone, but the rivalry lives on

Garnett is likely gone, but the rivalry lives on
March 18, 2013, 5:15 pm
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If Kevin Garnett is absent for tonight's game, that would result in the absence of some drama at the Garden.
 
Regardless of everything that’s on the line (pride, confidence, playoff seeding, a shot at the Atlantic Division title, the second longest win streak in NBA history), it just won’t be the same if No. 5 isn't out there doing his thing.
 
Slapping his head against the support, frantically motioning to officials before the jump ball, losing five pounds of sweat before the first TV timeout, ignoring Ray Allen, comparing Lebron’s girlfriend to a bowl of whole grain oats, draining jumpers, leading the defense, ultimately getting into in altercation with The Birdman . . .
 
You know, KG stuff.
 
You miss that even if it’s absent from meaningless games against Phoenix or Charlotte . . . but Heat-Celtics without Kevin Garnett? That’s like Harold Melvin without the Blue Notes — you'll never go platinum!
 
But here’s a little silver lining: Do you remember the last time Miami came to Boston?
 
It was January 27. We were all as insanely jacked as we are today.
 
Just in time for Rajon Rondo to earn a last second scratch.
 
At that moment, we removed all expectations. We anointed the latest Heat-Celtics game a bust. What’s it matter if Rondo’s not playing? Who cares? They have no chance!
 
But the lesson, as always: When these two teams get together, you throw reality out the window. It doesn’t matter who’s playing or who’s sitting. Who’s coming down with a sudden case of torn ACL or who’s resting his groin in the comfort of his own home, pacing around the apartment and tearing apart pillows while his teammates are in the heat of battle.

The bottom line: These teams are going to find away to make this a classic game.
 
A part of you might die with KG not on the floor, but the rivalry will live on.
 
It always does.