In case you missed these comments from today's Celtics-Magic game story, we've pulled them out for Celtics fans to see. It's Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, after his team squeaked out an important home victory over Boston, on the Celtics' injury situation:
"I want to know how some teams get on the list, where they get excuses and other teams are not on that list. All I've been hearing about is all the injury problems the Celtics have had this year."
Van Gundy talked about his own team's loss of All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in early February. The Magic have continued playing well in part because of a three-way trade that brought Rafer Alston from Houston.
Combative statements are certainly nothing new for Van Gundy, who is fresh off a war of words with Shaquille O'Neal (which is one that no human being can win). If the Celtics and the Magic do meet in the second round of the playoffs -- which will happen barring a major upset in the first-round -- then Celtics fans can hope that O'Neal's words are correct and that Van Gundy really is a "master of panic" when the games get important.
For now, the spin nationally seems to be that even though the Celtics lost, they may have claimed something of a moral victory in storming back from a 16-point second half deficit while Kevin Garnett continued to sit out most of the game. If Garnett plays another 10 minutes, wouldn't it be worth another three points? It is an excuse, but I'd say the answer the question is "Yes."