UPDATE 7:35pm EST: What was only likely earlier today is now official. From Doc Rivers:
However, in a bit of a surprise it’s not Garnett’s strained abductor that is keeping him out tonight but rather his bout with the flu:
Garnett is expect to travel with the team to New Orleans for the Celtics’ match up with the Hornets on Wednesday. That, however, is of little consolation tonight as they face a Heat team that has won 22 straight games.
1:03pm EST: If you win 22 games in a row, you need to catch a few breaks. Like teams not being healthy and not being at their best when they face you.
The Heat could get win 23 that way Monday in Boston — Kevin Garnett did not go through shootaround with the Celtics on Monday, and while he is officially a game-time decision I wouldn’t bet on him playing. A. Sherrod Blakely has the details at CSNNE.com.
Garnett has a left adductor strain and missed the Celtics Bobcats game Saturday because of it.
The problem for Boston is twofold. First, the Heat are really good.
Second, The Celtics defense falls off a cliff when Kevin Garnett is not on the floor. On the season, the Celtics allow 100 points per possession when Garnett is on the floor and 109 when he sits (stats via 82games.com). That’s the difference between a top five in the league defense (the Celtics are fourth overall right now) and a bottom six defense.
Combine those two problems and the Celtics have a real challenge on their hands Monday.