Garnett finished with eight points and nine rebounds in just under 37 minutes, but had more fouls (5) than shots made (4) and shot 4-12 from the field. With the bench only scoring four points in the game, Garnett needed to be on point if the Celtics wanted to steal game one.
The reason for Garnett's sluggishness could be because he hardly played the last month of the season or it could be the reason why he missed so much time, his bone spur in his ankle. Whatever the explanation, the Celtics aren't making excuses, they are planning on how to best utilize the Big Ticket against the undersized Knicks.
The quotes are from Brian Mahoney with the AP:
We've got to involve him more and there’s a better way to do it than the way we did it," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "And there’s certain things that he didn’t do, either. We've just got to do a better job of it."
"We know we've got to play through Kevin a lot more. I mean, he’s probably, he is one of our best passers,’’ (Paul) Pierce said Sunday. "He’s one of our most unselfish players, so we have to do a better job of just getting him the ball, a lot more than he got it yesterday. Doc said he wanted Kevin to be aggressive, he wants him to take 20 shots."
Besides his passing, Garnett's jumpshot should come around. That'll give the Knicks problems because their own big man, Tyson Chandler, needs to be in the paint to be effective and is battling a back issue of his own. Without an effective Garnett, more pressure will be put on the aging Pierce and stagnant backcourt to carry more of the offensive and defensive load.
If Garnett can round back into form, the Knicks will be in trouble because they have no answer for him. But one of the biggest worries coming into the postseason was the health of Garnett. Let's hope Game 1 was just an aberration and not a case of those worries coming true. Eric Blaisdell 4/23/2013 03:26:00 PM Tweet Edit