Tag: Kevin Garnett
Despite what has happened lately to the Boston Celtics, losing All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to a torn ACL for the rest of the season and a not too impressive 26-23 mark for the season, the Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, insists that he has no plans to trade either Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce. On Thursday February 2nd, in a overwhelming 116-95 win over the LA Lakers at the Boston Garden reached the historic hallmark of reaching 25,000 points in his career. For a moment, this phenomenal player who has insisted on making the team success a priority over his personal game, broke out of character. At least for a little while: right after he made the jumper that broke the benchmark, the Celtics played a graphic acknowledgment of the player’s record in the Boston Garden’s JumboTron. First he didn’t break the team huddle as Doc Rivers was diagramming their next play, but the fans kept on standing up and cheering for the veteran player.
Soon enough it were his teammates who began to applaud him, patting him in the back, cheering a bit. He then went to the sideline and waved at the crowd and saluted toward the far sideline were his family was sitting in the game. The fans reacted happily. On the one hand, he has now joined an elite group of players, 16 NBA players, to have reached that benchmark, including Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain. Even when addressing the press and talking about his achievement, he went on to talk about his team first.
This is what he had to say to the press after the game was over. “First priority was the Lakers tonight. So I didn’t even notice [the milestone's approach] until, I think, somebody said it to me in passing [Wednesday] night, and it kind of went in one ear and out the other,” said Garnett, who finished with 15 points on the win over the Lakers. “You know, it means a lot, obviously, to be in a Celtic uniform. So that’s first, coming from me. Priority being the Lakers tonight, us getting the win, and it being a monumental night second. And my family, my little baby, Capri, she got to be at the game and see it. Thank you for snow days. She got to come to the game tonight, which is something unusual, so it was good to have her there, family and everything, my sister and everything, so it was great.”
K.G. is the first player ever to have reached a special all-around record of his own. Garnett became the first player in NBA history to post 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 blocks and 1,500 steals. It’s been a long run since he skipped college and joined the NBA straight out of high school when he was only 19 years old back in 1996. He has the championship ring and the curriculum needed to join all of the other 16 players to have reached the 25,000 mark and join the NBA Hall of Fame. He might have another season or two left in his legs. Let’s see if he can retire with yet another championship ring.
At 14-13 for the season, this is certainly not the start that most Boston Celtics fans would have wanted to see from their team. On the one hand, Doc Rivers guys had a very hard time getting into any form or rhythm this season and quite frankly, even though they’ve had some improvement down the stretch, their play on the road is quite awful. So it came as a surprise that considering how the Brooklyn Nets pretty much handled the Celtics on their two previous games, that Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett stood up to their ground and took a 93-76 win at the Barclays Center in New York. Let’s not forget that going into this game, the Celtics had lost 7 of their last 8 road games. So yes, it was quite a mess, and not much was expected from the Celtics for this one. Then again, this is a veteran team, a Championship winning team that knows how to step it up when they need to.
And last night, on Christmas Day, on a nationally televised match, the Celtics had a chance to prove themselves. And that’s when we have to start talking about their point guard, Rajon Rondo. Last time this two team played at the Boston Garden, Rondo was kicked out of the game and lost his chance at making NBA history when his double digit assist record streak was cut short.
Rondo foolishly got himself thrown out of the second quarter after shoving Nets forward Kris Humphries into the courtside seats. This time, however, he managed to play the whole game, keep his cool and lead the Celtics with 19 points and 6 rebounds. “We moved the ball; we rebounded the ball,” Rondo said. “They beat us pretty bad on the glass, so tonight we did an exceptional job on the glass, taking care of the defensive rebounds, and we got stops.”
It wasn’t pretty I must say. Sure enough the Brooklyn Nets were simply out of it by the start of the second half, but there was still some bad blood from their last matchups and things got a bit frisky in the fourth quarter. A skirmish towards the end of the game ended up with four technical, one flagrant and a little too much drama but very little basketball. As a matter of fact, that was as though as the Nets looked the entire game.
Gerald Wallace guided the Nets efforts with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. His teammate, Brook Lopez chipped in with 19 points and 7 rebounds but the rest of the team was not bringing too much action for this squad. As a matter of fact, the Nets fans began to leave their seats and head towards the exit when there were still some 2 minutes to go in the last quarter, and just as Celtics fans began to celebrate their win. It seemed as if this guys just could find a system, a rotation that worked for them. They tried out some random schemes but not much worked out for them. Brooklyn shot just 41 percent and committed 20 turnovers that led to 25 points.
I have to confess that I’m a big fan of the Boston Celtics. I don’t know if it’s just a matter of holding a soft spot for the underdog, or if over the last 5 years I’ve grown fond of this group of aging veterans who keep on fighting even when everybody else says they don’t have a chance. And yet, this guys keep on going, and they’ve shown that they can still deliver. Every season, the media, other teams, even some fans say they are certainly too old to keep on going strong, to actually be a force to be reckon with in the Eastern Conference.
Well, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce refuse to believe that. And with the help of a young and very talented point guard named Rajon Rondo, and under the direction of a seasoned coach, Doc Rivers, these guys want to prove they’ve still got it. And even though, at 11-9 for the season, things are not as swell as the Celtics fans would have liked, they are still there, fighting, working their way around the season.
After losing to the 76ers at Philadelphia, the Boston Celtics took on the second part of a head-to-head series when they returned last night to the Garden. Kevin Garnett guided the Celtics with 19 points and 2 assists, including 9-of-11 shooting from the floor. Jeff Green chipped in with 16 points to lead the Celtics in a 92-79 win over Philadelphia. On his pregame briefing to the press, the 76ers head coach, Doug Collins said that there was no way this veteran squad could go out to the court feeling stronger than his young players.
He went on to the trouble of making the math to estimate that Garnett had played over 50,000 minutes and Paul Pierce 48,000. He added that veteran Jason Terry had also played a large amount of minutes in his career as well. I didn’t bother to check the accuracy of Collins calculations: for all I care, the Boston Celtics went out there and proved one again that it’s not always about having the freshest legs but playing with the sharpest minds.
Rajon Rondo finished the game with only 7 points, but he had 11 assists and 9 rebounds. Certainly not the sort of performance we would expect from Rondo to follow up his first triple-double of the season. Even though he didn’t play well, he was a brilliant playmaker and that help the Celtics secure a win. The other veteran, Paul Pierce, finished the game with 13 points and 9 assists. “I love the way we responded tonight,” Pierce said. “A lot of the guys were mad for the fact we lost yesterday and we wanted to take it out on them today. We felt that was a winnable game last night and we wanted to do something about it.”
And they did. The Celtics opened up a big gap early in the game and were up by 20 points by halftime. Sure things got a bit close down in the third quarter but with a couple of uncontested scores to open up the 4th quarter, the Celtics put it away to take their 11th win of the season.
It’s a bit funny how some things work out at the end of the day. The Orlando Magic were playing at home against the veteran Boston Celtics. They were coming off a two game winning streak that was promising to turn their 5-8 season around. They were well aware of the fact that their turnovers were ultimately costing them wins and that it could be the reason why their season had been filled with rough patches. Even more, the Orlando Magic had been able to take advantage of the Celtics underperforming defense and had built up a 7-point lead halfway into the fourth quarter. The Boston Celtics defense for this game was so weak that it actually made an offensive minded player like Leandro Barbosa look as if he were a phenomenal defender.
At the end it really didn’t matter much. What the Celtics lacked in defensive prowess they made up with offensive experience, talent and down right clutch time brilliance. Rajon Rondo was just one rebound shy of recording yet another triple double in his career while Kevin Garnett finished off the match with 24 points and 10 rebounds while Paul Pierce Chipped in with 23 points to lead the Celtics into a 116-110 win in overtime over the Orlando Magic. For the better part of the fourth quarter it seemed as if the Orlando Magic would take this one. On the one hand, Jameer Nelson was putting on one heck of a show in the second half. Just for the sake of story let’s take into account that he had 17 points after the halftime break. Nelson scored the Magic’s final eight points of the third quarter, including a fade away jumper to end the period to give the Magic a two-point edge entering the fourth quarter.
And yet they gave the game away with their poor ball handling. As a matter of fact, Orlando had 19 turnovers that led to 23 Celtics’ points. That alone could had been enough to close on the gap. Paul Pierce had 14 points after halftime and had a chance to win the game with the last shot, a step back jumper as the fourth quarter expired but his shot barely missed the basket. Still, he made up for it in overtime. For a while there in OT it seemed as if the game would remain close till the last second. But the momentum went to the Celtics took a 113-108 lead on a 3-pointer by Pierce, and layup by Rondo with 1:37 left. Truth is, Rajon Rondo had a phenomenal game. He finished off the night with 15 points, 16 assists and 9 rebounds. On a personal note, this is the 37th consecutive game in which he has had 10+ assists, matching a record held by John Stockton.
J.J. Redick scored 21 points and had 2 assist for the Orlando Magic, but very little help came from the rest of his friends. He knew they blew that game up, and wasn’t apologetic about it. “We had our chances. We definitely had our chances in overtime,” Redick said in the postgame press conference. “We had a couple of bad possessions offensively. We’ll learn from that. … You can talk about experience or execution. They just executed better than us in the end.”