May 14, 2010, 3:26 AM EDT
At the trading deadline, Cavailers General Manager Danny Ferry was thinking about the Magic. As John Krolik explained long before tip off, Antwan Jamison was brought in to counter Rashard Lewis.
Nobody thought about Kevin Garnett.
For six games — and particularly in Game 6 — Garnett completely outplayed Jamison, and that was one of the keys to the series.
Thursday night, Garnett started out 5 of 5 from the floor, hitting his jumper over the top of Jamison’s outsreached arms. He got the ball where he wanted it, for example going 3 for 4 from the left mid-block area. He was hitting from everywhere, 6 of 10 outside 10 feet and 5 of 9 inside close to the rim. In the last four games of this series he shot 60 percent
Garnett was not quite his 2008 dominating self, particularly on defense — but he was close. He certainly was talking like it, barking like Garnett does. His knee may hold him back some still, but the longer rest between games in the playoffs seems to help him, he looks much more fresh than during the grind of the regular season.
Jamison had no answers. He was 2 of 10 shooting for five points and five rebounds, The man that came from Washington at the trading deadline was simply outmatched. Not physical enough inside, not quick enough, not tall enough.
That’s not all on Jamison, he is not what he was, and this is a tough match up for him. Some of that may fall on Danny Ferry.
As Mike Prada at SBNation reminded us, back at the trade deadline Amare Stoudemire to Cleveland for Zydrunas Ilgauskas and J.J. Hickson was the hot rumor. It was talked about for a week and was considered pretty much a done deal.
Until the Cavaliers traded instead for Jamison.
Why? We’ll never really know. Deals fall apart for a million reasons. But as Prada points out, the very well connected Marc Stein of ESPN said the reason is the Cavaliers did not want to give up the promising young Hickson in the trade. For Jamison, it was more straight up. At the time, the Cavaliers brass all said they thought Jamison “fit” better than Stoudemire.
Bet they don’t think that now. And Garnett is happy they made the decision they did.
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