How Kevin Garnett's injury affects the Magic
1. The Cavs will lock up the No. 1 seed. Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics are an entirely different team. They lack a certain defensive spark, and most importantly, Brian Scalabrine is a starter. Repeat for emphasis: Brian Scalabrine is the Boston Celtics' current starting power forward. He wouldn't start on my intramural team. The Cavs are already a game ahead of the Celtics in the playoff race, and Garnett's injury will probably drop the Celtics a few more games back. This means that the Magic will most likely be matched up with the Celtics in the second-round of the playoffs. And we all know the Magic want Cleveland in the second round, not Boston. 2. The Celtics will lure the top free-agent power forward. While anything but a glaring weakness, the Magic could use a veteran power forward come playoff time. Mikki Moore is the best option out there, and he'd be a huge upgrade over Tony Battie as the first big man off the bench. But with Garnett's injury, I expect Moore to sign with the Celtics by the end of February. There are some other options out there for the Magic, but none that are much better than Battie or Marcin Gortat.
Often times we tend to center our focus entirely on the Magic, overanalzying every injury, dispute, lineup change and type of cereal Dwight Howard had for breakfast. Sometimes, events outside of the organization can have as big of an effect on the Magic as happenings within the team. Like, for instance, Kevin Garnett's injury. The Celtics are saying he'll be out 2-to-3 weeks... But they're being extremely vague about it. I wouldn't expect Garnett to be back in the lineup full-time until the last week of March, at the earliest. Even though the Celtics play 2,000 miles away, that injury has an effect on the Magic in a couple of ways.