“Who’s Old Not Me”

By By Travis H. Singleton, BASN sports writer
Updated: May 14, 2012

BOSTON,MA -(BASN) Kevin Garnett has put the Celtics on his back these last two games scoring 59 combined points and grabbing 25 rebounds. I am convinced that KG “The Big Ticket” is coming back very strong after many reporters have called him old and have commented on his ability to stay in games when the team needs him the most which is to help close the game. Kevin Garnett has had no problem putting the team in a position to win games while Pierce and Allen are still nursing some minor injuries that are limiting their movement. Pierce’s knee has still been bothering him ever since he banged it in the Atlanta series and Allen is still nursing his ankle injury.

The Celtics aren’t 100% but they bring 100% effort and also toughness especially in the playoff’s. Kevin Garnett has proven to the league and also too the GM of the Atlanta Hawks he’s still here to stay and that he’s not a dirty player. KG noted that he tries to perfect his craft of work and that he puts in extra work in the gym to play his game. KG will be the key to the Celtics winning this series because, he can create his own shot and also he can also space the floor and allow someone like Bass or Hollins to get more offensive rebounds. The Celtics handed the Hawks in 6 games and they let a lot of good opportunity’s slip out of their hands so this series they need to make sure they handle the Sixers in a quick fashion to get rest for The Big 3 if they want to head to the Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals.

Kevin Garnett’s defensive presence has reminded me of the championship year for the Celtics because, he is the leader when he does something on the defensive side it sparks the team up and creates their offense. Blocks and rebounds lead to fast breaks and KG has brought that this playoff’s and is using the haters and doubters to act on it and out play anyone that is guarding him.

KG’s defense then has everyone stepping their defense up and recently Avery Bradley has become one of the best on ball defenders this league has seen since Bruce Bowen in my opinion. The Celtics and their fans have seen Avery Bradley day to day but once he had got the acknowledgement by blocking DWade that has woken him up and his on ball defense is actually starting a lot more fast breaks and it also allows him to use his quickness to get to the basket. The Celtics will need Avery Bradley to shut down the Sixers Lou Williams because, he is a gunner and can create his shot at any minute. If Avery can hold him down then the Celtics can try to exploit Andre Iguodala to try to isolate in a lot of one on one situations that Doug Collins would not want to see.

Doug Collins talked about how much he was proud of his team for hanging in there against the Celtics and not letting up. He was very proud that they hung in the game and was very proud that they didn’t shy away from the Celtics in the 4th quarter with defensive challenges. The Celtics defeated the Sixers in game one saturday night 93-92 giving them a 1-0 lead in the series and KG has been the reason why the Celtics are winning with his scoring and he is actually rebounding but also Rondo had his 8th career triple double to help the “Big Ticket” out. Rondo has brought his game to another level in this playoff’s ever since his one game suspension in the last round. Rondo has brought the best out of all his teammates and knows when and when not too pass it and dish it off.

Game 2 is Monday and the keys to the Celtics winning game two and heading back to Philly up 2-0 is very simple don’t let Spencer Hawes get a coast to coast basket and also don’t let the role players like Holiday and Williams to get involved and put all the offensive pressure on Iguodala to score so that he can force the issue. The Celtics also have to make sure they can rebound and not allow the Sixers on the offensive boards because that killed them in game one.

The Celtics were aggressive going to the basket and were getting to the line and that was a huge boast to why they won too down the stretch. Philly can hang with the Celtics because, they know our type of game they mentally have to try to get by it and also if Philly can out run us in these games it will be trouble for all of Boston in this series. Celtics should win this series in 6 games if they do everything right and if KG stays hot like he has been lately. I want the people to keep calling him old and calling him soft it motivates him to push harder and the results of that have been vintage Kevin Garnett and he is leading his team in this series and he will need to lead them to victory as well.

Post Game Interviews Game 1 Celtics vs Sixers

Andre Iguodala

How was it carrying over from previous game?

“For our team I think so. Tonight’s game we played better than we have all season. I think it kind of carried over from the series with Chicago. Mentally that was a tough series to get through against a tough minded defensive team. I think it helped us out a little bit.”

Talk about the game pace?

“When were running in transition its usually three or four guys in transition, its basketball principals. If its shot in a corner, two guys got to get back or if the point guard shoot the two has to get back. Some principals that slipped us a little bit or went away from out minds a little bit and hurt us when he (Rondo) gets in transition. We have our principals that help us get in transition but also get back at the same time.”

Was this a Frustrating loss?

“It was a little bit frustrating, they hit us with a run to end the half, it hurt us a little bit. Then in the fourth quarter we had a two minute spell that was just a disaster. We didn’t get good looks; we were trying to make the home run plays, instead of just grinding it out and little by little finishing the game.”

Talk about the future of series?

“We know we can play with these guys and we know our strengths and what is going to help us win the games. We just got to work on our weaknesses and we have to grow from these situations. We have a lot of young guys who play a lot of minutes for us. So, end of games, end of half’s, those situations and scenarios you can only learn in the situations in the playoffs. Hopefully we learn from them. Tomorrow we will get a good practice, we’ll get a good focus, and film and try to get better for game two.”

Lou Williams

Talk about Rondo’s handling ability do for Celtics?

“Well when he starts making shots, you have to honor that so that allows the other guys to get a little bit more space, that allows KG (Garnett) to get on the block one on one with a guy, or Paul the iso and for Ray to run off a screen. It makes it tough when he’s making shots like that, but ya know the facilitating that’s always been the strong suit of his game. He makes some timely big shots for em, some big jumpers and was able to get them over their hump.”

Did you all play the way you wanted to?

“Yea, I think we played well. A couple of guys, including myself didn’t play up to our abilities, but I think we played them well enough to win the basketball game and they made bigger shots and we had turnovers right when the game got close, right when it was crunch time and they were able to edge us out tonight.”

Head Coach Doug Collins

Talk about KG catching you off guard

“Well I mean I don’t know what else we could have done. He made a lot of tough shots. He hits those long jump shots. We are not going to run out at him or get a hand in his face but ya know all of a sudden you start running around and doing al that you free up Paul Pierce and all these other guys. I mean you have to pick your poison. Kevin is playing great. I mean he is playing great. He’s hitting all these shots. He’s fading shots off the glass. I mean he’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play. My hat’s off to him. But I don’t think there was anything we did poorly with him. I just think that some times you get trumped.

Head Coach Doc Rivers

How he feels having pulled out this win

“Well, I’m excited. I’m happy. We didn’t have it early; I tell you, I just thought they came out and they attacked us. I thought they played harder, quite honestly, the first ten minutes of the game. I thought we came with the right intent and I really thought, and we’ve done it before, we miss seven-to-eight just point-blank wide-open shots to start the game, and I thought we start thinking about our offense, you know? I thought that allowed them to up their energy and get into us. I thought the second unit saved the game for us, in the first half, when they came in. All they did was they upped the energy of the game for us. And then I thought our small line-up was the other good thing for our team. But I thought the second unit, Keyon (Dooling) and Ryan (Hollins), MP (Mickael Pietrus), that group on the floor with Kevin (Garnett) and Ray (Allen) and Steamer (Greg Stiemsma) – they just played so hard that it got us back in the game. Because we had to match their intensity. You know, I told them at halftime, ‘Listen, they can’t be more athletic and play harder. That combination will never work for us.’ We had to at least match their intensity, and I thought we did that.”

Talk about Rondo’s game?

“I thought he was searching for what to do early on; how to attack. And I told him, I thought what that did, was we didn’t execute our stuff. We were in random too much. And I thought that, again, that second unit came in, it kind of gave the starters a blueprint. They came in, they worked sets, they got the second or third options, and I thought our first unit came back on and saw that. And then I thought Rondo’s shooting, obviously, down the stretch was fantastic. He wanted those shots. We ran that play: we were going to switch Ray and put him in that spot where the guy curls back up and Rondo wanted that play. He wanted the shot and he took it. That has to be great for his confidence.”

Talk about how Ray Allen is doing?

“Yeah, I mean, I thought ten different times he was hurt again. He hit the floor four or five times. Ray is just tough. I mean, I don’t think we realize how – his foot’s bothering him. And he’s playing terrific. The stretch when he came again with the second unit and I keep throwing out the second unit, but that was a big stretch for us. It gave us some hope.”

Paul Pierce

What was the offensive plan to feed Kevin Garnett?

“Yea we feel like that’s our advantage, we feel like that’s our advantage every night ya know when you look at the eastern conference, the teams that got to match up with him (Garnett). We are gonna ride Kevin all the way until his wheels fall off and he’s bringing it every night. He understands the sense of urgency with this ball club and he’s giving it everything he got out there for us and he’s looking like 04′ MVP, definitely.”

Rajon Rondo

Was the game plan to get the ball to KG as much as possible?

“I mean, that’s the game plan all the time, when we get away from, we take a lot of jump shots. We’re a jump shooting team. But when we need a bucket we tend to go to Paul and Kevin. And Kevin has a matchup tonight. He had a lot of great looks that he wanted and he made his shots.”

How good was it to hit 3 jumpers in a row?

“I just made some plays. It was a team effort, and I made some shots, Kevin had a big and one, to put us up and from that point on we took the lead.”

Thoughts on tripe double, did you feel it would happen?

“I didn’t think I would play the way I played tonight. I didn’t get a nap today so I didn’t know what to expect. But I was struggling with my shot early, and I was turning the ball over, so I was trying to do the intangibles, and do everything I could to help my team. And I came up with some rebounds, I came up with some assists, and it just happened to be a triple double tonight.”

Kevin Garnett

Did you feel fortunate to only be down 5 at the first half?

” To be honest I didn’t even know what we were down I don’t even look at the score. No disrespect for the game or anything like that, I go off the crowd, I go off the adrenaline, the emotion. For the most part I like the feel of the game. 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 “

“I have no life at this point. I go home, get treatment, come back in here, study tape, film. No life at all. This is what it is.”

How much fun are you having?

“When we win I’m having a lot of fun. When we lose it’s a tough day.”