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Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  December 31, 2009 01:55 PM

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That's what this Celtics road trip was by injuries. Already without Paul Pierce due to a knee infection, the Celtics limped home from a four-game trip as losers of three straight following a 116-98 loss to the Suns on Wednesday night. More alarming than the three losses is the trio of injured Celtic stars. Kevin Garnett's knee is flaring up, forcing him to sit out against the Suns (still believe he had a thigh bruise?), and Rajon Rondo also hurt a hamstring on the trip and is hobbled.

The Celtics have the talent to go all the way, but with the Big Three of Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen all 32 or older, injuries might be just as tough to overcome as the Cavaliers or Magic. Pierce's knee infection was a freak occurrence, but Garnett's situation is going to be an issue all year long. If the Celtics lose this season to injuries like last season then the championship window starts to resemble a keyhole. 
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The word

Christopher L. Gasper riffs on the news


...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.

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