After the big come from behind win against the Orlando Magic that saw Boston come back from as many as 27 points down, many will be talking about performances like E’Twaun Moore and Paul Pierce. Both deserve a lot of credit as Pierce ran the offense and led the team in scoring with 24 points and Moore scored 16 big points including four long range bombs. However, lost in these performances was the defensive effort of one Kevin Garnett.
Kevin Garnett was instrumental in this win last against the Magic. KG defensive mastery of Dwight Howard was like a work of art. Garnett despite giving up size and strength bottled up Howard and made him a non factor on the offensive end. KG did this by gaining the positioning on Howard every time and having extremely active hands. Those active hands blocked four shots and had three steals. Many of those came at Howard’s expense. KG would bait Howard in and then slap the ball away using his quick hands. KG also timed his leaps perfectly to truly bother Dwight with his long arms.
KG looked great in his battle for position with Howard. KG would either deny Howard the ball forcing the Magic to look elsewhere or use his positioning to force Howard into shots that are not to his liking by beating him to the spot. He even managed to put a body on Howard so he did not get his usual garbage points off the glass.
The results of how much KG dominated Howard was in Howard’s stat line. The man known as “Superman” could only muster 16 points on 6-12 shooting. Howard also had three turnovers. The Celtics would not have won this game without Garnett taking Howard out of it. Up by that many points, Orlando would have coasted to a win if Howard had been able to dominate in the paint for the second half. Not bad for a guy playing center for the first time in his career consistently. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!!!!