Last week Kevin Garnett became the first player in NBA history to accumulate 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 steals and 1,500 blocks, a feat that shows his incredible all-around play since entering the league in 1995. With that said, it's not a shock to see Garnett hit another ridiculous milestone last night as he passed Sleepy Floyd for 50th on the NBA's all-time assist leader board, becoming the first player in the NBA to rank in the top 50 in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. I wrote about Garnett's greatness, and this particular milestone in general, about a month ago, but now he that he has accomplished it, let's take a look at just how special it is.
Points - Garnett has 25,029 points, 16th all-time.
Rebounds - KG has grabbed 13,689 boards, 12th all-time
Assists - The Big Ticket has 5,178 career assists, 50th all-time
Steals - Garnett has 1,721 steals since his career began, 17th all-time
Blocks - KG has 1,957 career blocks, 19th all-time
As you can see, while KG barely cracks the top 50 in assists (still incredible for a guy who's spent his whole career down low), he is actually in the top 20 in each of the other 4 categories. His all-around game was on display last night as Garnett went for 20 points, 18 rebounds (a season high), 6 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals in the Celtics 118-114 win over the Nuggets. He has also been on an absolute tear since Rajon Rondo went down 7 games ago, putting up the following lines.
With Rondo out, Paul Pierce has been shifted into more of a distributor role, seeing his scoring average drop a bit and his assist rates skyrocket (not to mention his rebounding totals nearly doubling). So who has taken over the scoring load for Pierce? That would be Garnett, who was averaging 14.7 points before Rondo went down, and nearly 18 a game since the injury.
When #9 went down for the season, many believed that a team built around two players (Pierce and Garnett) with a combined 33 seasons and 2,680 games played, would not be able to compete with the younger, faster teams in the league. And as the playoffs get closer, and the added reps start to add up, those people may be proven right. But not right now. At the moment Pierce has taken the role of lead distributor from Rondo, and KG has filled in Pierce's role as lead scorer, leaving the rest of the team to fill in the gaps. With the season in jeopardy, and rumors about their future flying, Pierce and Garnett have led the team to an improbable seven game winning streak, and proven to anyone who doubted that while they're no longer young by NBA standards, they have plenty left in the tank.
Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13 Michael Dyer 2/11/2013 03:18:00 PM Tweet