The Boston Celtics are in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and are up 1-0 in the series against the Philadelphia 76ers. And while most of their playoff success may fall on the shoulders of Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett deserves much credit as well for getting Boston to this point.
After shifting to the center position once Jermaine O’Neal left the team, his numbers improved and he steadied the Celtics all the while looking like he found the “Fountain of Youth.”
And it is not just the numbers KG puts up which makes Boston such a dangerous team in the playoffs, it is his intensity on and off the court.
We all know how intense KG can be during a game. The constant cussing, the slap at every ball a player attempts at the rim during a stoppage of play, his animalistic scowls from the bench, and much more. But it seems Garnett is equally intense and determined off the court during the team’s current playoff run to the point he says he has no life.
“I have no life at this point,” said Garnett. “I go home, get treatment, come back in here, study tape, film — no life at all. This is what it is.”
And it seems this sharp focus paid off in Game 1 versus the Sixers. In Game 1, KG recorded 29 points, and 11 rebounds in the 92-91 win.
It seems his intensity on and off the court does not bode well for the Sixers as this series rages on.
But KG is quick to note he still feeds off the crowd and just being on the court to tap into that intensity which has translated to great performances throughout his entire NBA career.
“No disrespect for the game or anything like that, I go off the crowd, I go off the adrenaline, the emotion,” said Garnett. “For the most part I liked the feel of the game, [but] I really feel like we have better basketball in us. I’m sure as the series goes on we will have no other choice but to get better. Whatever is asked of me is what I am going to do. I don’t really pay attention to the minutes.”
One may say the Celtics go as Rondo goes but the Celtics do need their corp of vets (KG, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen) to steady the ship as they march to another possible banner to hang in the TD Garden.
So far in this playoff run, KG is averaging 20.1 points, 2 blocks, 10.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and shooting 52 percent in seven games, while playing 37.9 minutes for the Celtics. Seem this intensity KG brings to the court is paying off for Boston despite many thinking his best days are behind him.
Just do not remind KG about his age and supposed decline. Ask the Hawks what happens when you make KG angry. The Sixers would not like to see Garnett angry.