Bostonians do hysteria well.
Snow in the forecast? Buy out the local Stop & Shop! Stockpile batteries! Dust off the candles!
Athlete injured? Even worse. It's a winter storm times 5,000.
The latest body part in peril, Kevin Garnett's sore right knee, is causing blizzard-like panic. Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters yesterday that his hyperkinetic big man would be "shut down" — What is Garnett, a Terminator? — for at least the next 12 days. Admittedly, I was not at yesterday's practice, but here are Doc's words:
"After watching him move today, we're just going to shut him down. It probably won't be for the year. He'll probably play by the end, (the) last couple of games, or (the) last three games. It's just not progressing the way we anticipated it would progress."
Garnett has missed 15 games since straining his knee in a 90-85 loss to Utah Feb. 19. He has not played since Boston's 84-82 loss to Orlando March 25. According to a report by The Eagle-Tribune's Bill Burt, KG turned down surgery to avoid missing the playoffs.
At this point, it's unclear whether Garnett's furlough is a precautionary move or a sign of imminent disaster. If it's the latter, Boston's title hopes will disappear faster than the pile of chocolate-covered Twinkies I saw at a recent media buffet.
"If he is not healthy," Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell said during a television interview Monday night, "you do not win a championship."
But really, how bad is it? Nobody who knows is talking. At least substantively. General manager Danny Ainge, in an interview with Michael Holley that aired on Comcast last night, called Garnett a "rhythm guy."
But when KG's knee didn't seem to get better during his initial return, the brass decided to sit him down, "and make sure," Ainge said, "he's 100 percent healthy."