If The Big 3 Wins Again, It Will Be Behind Kevin Garnett.
Since coming to Boston Kevin Garnett has been a model Celtic. He hates losing more than he loves winning, his emotional charge could inspire anyone to run through a brick wall, his defensive tenacity has been the newfound backbone of the franchise, and his skill level, even at 35, is a sight to be seen at the power forward position.
Before coming to Boston KG was still an absolutely dominant force. He didn't just dominate defensively... he dominated offensively, with his passing, with his shooting, with his rebounding AND with his defense. In 2006 Kevin played his final season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, that year he had 66 double doubles and 3 triple doubles. Despite being 30 years old Kevin Garnett was still arguably the best power forward in The NBA.
That next season would be a special one for Kevin and The Celtics. After being traded to Boston for Al Jefferson and a huge box of basketballs, KG quickly set aside all his individual aspirations in order to built a perfect team. No one was worried about their shots and no one was checking stat sheets. The Celtics understood that the only way for this to work was for it to be a collective effort, a full team offense based on passing... and it was.
Despite all the success and domination showed in their first season together, The Big 3 have failed when it comes to carving out their own space in Celtics history. Let's face it, winning one Championship isn't enough. This isn't Dallas or Milwaukee. One Championship every couple of decades isn't good enough. In order for THIS Celtics unit to live up to it's own expectations they must win another title.
Looking back on the differences between the '08 Celtics and the squads since then, there's one common theme: When Kevin Garnett is at his best, the Celtics succeed. The problem is that Kevin Garnett has become too passive to truly play at his best. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are two of the greatest players to ever play, they're first ballot hall of famers, but they aren't at the same level as KG. When Garnett is on he's on like few players ever seen. He's Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant... he's in that class. In 2008 he played like that, since then he's cared too much about getting others involved. If Boston is to win again, he has to play at legendary status.
When Boston was beat by LA in the Finals in 2010, Kevin Garnett averaged 6 rebounds per game over the series. There were only 2 games out of 7 where he took 15+ shots. Back in 2008 against LA Kevin Garnett averaged 13 rebounds a game, and there were only 2 games where he DIDN'T take 15+ shots. That is absolutely inexcusable. I don't care if Boston is claiming to have a "Big 9", they cannot win an NBA Championship without KG being great.
Since acquiring Kevin Garnett, whether it's in the Regular Season or Playoffs, The Boston Celtics are 40-6 when KG posts 20 Points and 10 Rebounds. Simly put; If Kevin Garnett is Kevin Garnett, The Celtics win 86% of the time.