Just before the Boston Celtics left town for the All Star break, Kevin Garnett gave the team a message to come back prepared to up their play or not bother to come back. The team returned to play on Tuesday in Cleveland and the world was wondering how the message would resonate. If KG had anything to show, his play did last night. KG would come out and live by his own message as he was clearly the difference in the 86-83 win over the Cavs.
The part of his game that has most been criticized has been his offense. KG too many times has stopped attacking the basket. This was not the case last night. Even after the wretched “Army of Stern” stopped blowing the whistle for KG, he continued to attack the rim. The result was KG ended up second on the team with eighteen points and found the free throw line eight times where he was perfect.
The defensive end was just as great. KG despite playing with undersized pieces like Bass and Wilcox did a great job of defending the basket and the paint. Not only did he cut off lanes to the basket and secure the ball (7 defensive rebounds), but he was constantly moving and active. He made sure to put a body on his man most of the time and box out. This made Wilcox’s job a lot easier as he would snag double digits in rebounds in large part because of it.
His help defense was also amazing as usual. No one defends the pick and roll better than KG. Numerous times Cavs star Kyrie Irving (This rookie is going to be in the battle for best player in this league some day) would glide by and think he had an easy path to the basket only to see KG waiting for him at the last second off a beautiful rotation. The pivotal defensive play in the tight fourth quarter was KG making a huge play to secure a steal and then have the presence of mid to throw the ball ahead to Ray Allen in transition for an easy flush. This gave Boston the one point advantage that they would never surrender.
If a guy is going to go out and demand more from his team, then he must be willing to follow the example that he is trying to preach. KG did just that last night. If he continues to go out and play the way he did last night, the Boston Celtics will indeed make one more final run for glory with of course KG leading the way. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!!!