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NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: Milk cartons, desert islands, and Kevin Garnett

Jun 7, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT

Garnett_solo.jpgAfter Ray Allen was plagued by foul trouble in Game 1, it was Kevin Garnett’s turn to fade into the background as the calls piled up against him in Game 2.

KG’s final stat line — six points, four rebounds, and six assists — is probably too rosy a representation of his overall impact; Garnett would occasionally make a play of some import, but for the most part, Kevin was invisible. That’s not what the Celtics have come to expect from Garnett in these playoffs, and Boston will need something more if they’re going to really put pressure on the Lakers.

Boston’s overall defense was improved from their Game 1 calamity, and Garnett does deserve some credit for that. In terms of his ability to function defensively in a team setting, KG wasn’t exactly awful.

Still, his one-on-one defense was poor yet again, which says as much about the superior play of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum as it does about Garnett’s ineffectiveness. This is not the best defense Kevin is capable of playing, and whether it’s a “lack of explosiveness,” a bad match-up, or anxious whistle-blowers that ail him, he desperately needs to make some kind of impact in future games.

Ray Allen is not going to shoot 8-of-11 from three every night, and Kobe Bryant won’t always go 8-for-20 from the field. Ron Artest won’t always be such a possession-killer, and Rajon Rondo may not always rack up a triple-double.

Even if the things didn’t go perfectly for Boston (Paul Pierce’s performance in particular left a bit to be desired), a lot went right. Certainly enough to off-set superb outings from Gasol and Bynum. The only problem is that aside from a nice feed to Kendrick Perkins here or a big make over Ron Artest there, Garnett really wasn’t a part of it.

Expecting KG to best Pau Gasol would be a bit much, but it would certainly be nice to see him do more than simply dress out. He wasn’t inefficient and he didn’t hurt his team while he was on the floor, but Garnett seems an awfully uncomfortable wallflower.

It’s nice for Boston to take a game even without KG’s help, but the disappearing act needs to stop now. If anyone can find the Kevin Garnett that completely shut down his defensive assignments in the first three rounds, tell him to come to the front of the store: his teammates and coach are looking for him.

  1. Kevin - Jun 7, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Funny how you stick Kobe up against a team that David Stern wants to win, and he doesn’t get all those foul calls for people breathing on him. (See Denver, Phoenix, Ok city)
    I can believe people still watch this rigged sport. WWE looks more realistic.

  2. John Maine - Jun 7, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    Wooden would’ve been proud of the Celtics defense. Some great video clips of Wooden in case anyone wants to see:

  3. Omnius - Jun 7, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Pau Gasol was correct to say that Kevin Garnett isn’t as explosive as he used to be! Shame on the media hypes who tried to turn Gasol’s nonslam into some kind of slam against Garnett, sure didn’t fire him up much did it? The Lakers Big Men will dominate Boston’s Little Big Men the rest of this series and that will win the Lakers another title. Kobe will be itching to get back on the court Tuesday night to prove he’s the Black Mamba. Odom and Artest will come up big again. Bynum proved he can be a big factor so don’t be surprised if he keeps scoring more points than in his previous playoff series. Lakers in 6 games!

  4. BR - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Before sounding like an idiot, you may want to check the box score. Lakers outshot the Celtics from the line 41-26.

  5. the Dude - Jun 7, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    Oh and when did Jack Nicholson become an asst coach for the Fakers?

  6. jeb - Jun 7, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    funny how people think this is a good sign for the lakers. they played very well yesterday and lost while garnett and pierce were almost non existent! i thought that the C’s still played very poorly yesterday on both ends of the court and really have a hard time believing that lakers fans are still talking smack. lets see, common logic…one team is playing well at home and the other team is playing poorly on the road (other then Ray obviously). home team playing well should CRUSH visiting team, not LOSE! what do lakers fans think, lakers are suddenly going to play much, much better then they have been all season and the C’s are going to play even worse then the first two games? doubt it, what they should be hoping for is that garnett keeps playing like garbage and maybe they will stand a chance in the rest of the series, because if this C’s team starts playing like they have the rest of the playoffs this series will be over in five.

  7. Andrew Papa - Jun 7, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    You are more than one thousand percent correct. NBA refereeing is by far the worst joke in pro sports. I can’t remember the last time I saw any team in the last five years go up and down the court, without some referee blowing a whistle. The league would be much better off with them. The only thing that they have done is create a bunch of professional cry babies. They cry if they get a call against them, and they cry even harder if they don’t get a call they think they should have. How is it that time after time, Kobe Bryant can stand there with the ball, throw his shoulder directly into the defender, go up at the same time with the basketball, make the basket, and then go to free throw line, to shoot the foul he created by throwing his shoulder into somebody? When is the last time any one saw a player flop on the floor for any reason at all, and the ref., again will automatically blow another whistle. This is much worse than any WWF.

  8. Drew - Jun 7, 2010 at 9:02 PM

    Omnius, I don’t understand you’re a Laker fan but at least make some cogent arguments about why the Lakers will win. The Lakers WILL dominate the Celtics “little big men” for the rest of the series? How do you know that? Odom, who has been non-existent for two games, and Artest’s poor performances somehow inspire you that they will “come up big again”? Bynum has played well, but he has shown much less aggression and effectiveness on the road. You have no idea that they will do any of this stuff.

  9. mary - Jun 8, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    lets see let the game be a game, and may the best team win, they are both good teams, so let it be it. The team that will win will be the one that play with all there heart, so lets just all injoy the game and have a good time doing it,

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