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Kevin Garnett

Defending the championship they worked so hard to win last season just got a lot harder for the Boston Celtics, provided Doc Rivers’ foreboding prognostication about Kevin Garnett’s knee comes true. Rivers told the Boston Globe he doubts Garnett — who has been struggling with his knee since around the All-Star break — will be available throughout the playoffs.

“This is the first time I’ve said it, because it’s the first time I’ve really watched him,” Rivers said. “He’s not gonna be ready. After watching him run, there’s no way. So, we’re gonna move without him. And the way I saw him move today guys, I don’t know if he’ll be ready… he’s just limping. He just can’t run. …

“This was an honest run today, you couldn’t fake your way through it … and the guy is a warrior, you can see him trying to mask it, but after 20 minutes of running, there’s just no way. I don’t see it. I just don’t. And I’ve flipped completely because I was watching him move, and he looked great, and then … after today, there’s no way he can play.

Because of his bum knee, Garnett has missed 25 games, but much to the defending champs’ credit, the Celtics are 18-7 during KG’s absence. However, beating teams like Orlando and the Cleveland LeBrons in a seven-game playoff series is much different than posting a respectable win-loss regular season record while a key component nurses an injury.