This morning on CSNNE's Facebook page, we posed the following question:
If Jeff Green and Avery Bradley were healthy all season, would the Heat still be on the doorstep of winning a championship?
My answer: Beats me.
I mean, you can certainly make an argument that the Celtics were a better team with a healthy Avery Bradley, but that doesn't guarantee victory. Dwyane Wade wasn't that much of an issue anyway it was LeBron. And Bradley wasn't making a difference there.
And as for Green? Really, who knows. The guy didn't play a minute all season. If he had, there's probably no Mickael Pietrus. If he had, maybe Doc starts Rondo, Pierce, Green, Bass and KG after Ray Allen's injury and Bradley never even gets a chance.
What about a healthy Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and the Celtics against healthy Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and the Bulls? In that case, does Boston even make it to Miami?
Probably not, but that's not what I want to talk about. Instead, I want to mention one of the comments we got in response to the original GreenBradley Facebook question:
What about if Ainge hadn't traded Perk for Green and we had Bradley and Perk all season...two top tier defenders. Even better.
At this point, I think most of us have made peace with the Kendrick Perkins trade. After all, while there's no doubt that the deal demolished last year's chemistry and made it impossible for Boston to win a title, Rondo's elbow injury rendered the whole argument moot.
They could have had a healthy Shaq, a healthy Perk and 2005 Jermaine O'Neal on that team, and one-armed Rondo was still too much to overcome. But every once in a while, I'll still hear arguments like the one above which contend that the Celtics would currently stand in a better position if they'd not only kept Perk, but somehow found a way to sign him to an extension.
Debunking that argument is easy.
Question 1: What was the No. 1 factor in the Celtics second half turnaround this year?
Answer 1: Moving Kevin Garnett to center.
Question 2: Does Kevin Garnett make the move to center if Perk is still with the Celtics.
Answer 2: NO.
Translation: While the Perk trade might have been a disaster in 2011, it worked out for the best in 2012. It may very well be the reason that KG's in a position to extend his career.
Of course, the million dollar (or maybe 15-million-dollar) question is: Will he?
Will Kevin Garnett comeback?
Yesterday on WEEI, Danny Ainge said that he doesn't know. That basically, KG is still deciding whether he wants to play at all. And while it hasn't been discussed too much within the whole "WillWon't He" dynamic, I wouldn't be surprised if the issue of playing center still lies at the heart of KG's indecision.
Make no mistake, KG does not like playing the 5. He's said at numerous times during his career; he said numerous times this year, after he was already there.
Preference-wise, I dont like it, to be honest with you," Garnett said in March. "Im a 4. I dont like, you knowit's what it is. Ill be whatever this team needs me to be. Other than a cheerleader with pom-poms and some short-shorts. Other than that, whatever this team needs me to be, man, Ill be it."
At the same time, you know that the Celtics want him back as a center. You get the sense that Doc Rivers thinks that's the only way that KG can be as effective as they need him to be.
Finding a middle ground for instance, signing Omar Asik to lighten the load at center? might make the difference in KG lacing up those Anta's for one more year.
And if he does, let's hope there's a healthy Avery Bradley and Jeff Green out there along side him.