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Kevin Garnett remains beating heart of these Celtics

Jun 6, 2012, 7:45 AM EDT

At age 36, Kevin Garnett has been the most important player in the Eastern Conference finals.

Because of his play, the Boston Celtics knocked off Miami 94-90 in Game 5 and are on the doorstep of returning to the NBA finals for the third time in five years. Because of him the team that everyone called too old — a team GM Danny Ainge discussed breaking up at the trade deadline — is one win away from a shot at another ring.

“He’s just amazing,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said, via A. Sherrod Blakely of “Obviously we need his scoring. That’s important, but he just … he’s our life. I mean, he really is. He just does so many things that don’t have numbers to it. A lot of it is his voice. He’s in a strange way a calming effect on some of our guys, if you can ever call Kevin that, he is. He’s just been terrific for us.”

Garnett has done it at both ends of the floor. He finished the game a +4 in a four point win.

The Celtics start with defense and KG has been the beating heart of that for Boston his series — when he is on the floor their defense has forced the Heat to take jump shots (which they have often missed). When he is resting it is a layup parade for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. The difference is stark.

At the other end, starting in the second quarter Boston was able to establish him in the post and Miami doesn’t have an answer for him, especially since he can also pop out and knock down a midrange shot. Garnett had a team high 26 points in the Game 5 win.

For KG, the two ends of the floor are not separate, one can flow out of the other. Again from

“I let a lot of the offense come to me,” said Garnett, who also had 11 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. “I look at myself as a defensive player first. I thought some of the defensive plays I was able to make fueled me into getting some easy baskets.”

Closeout games are hard, nobody knows that better than Garnett and these Celtics. But thanks to Garnett they get a chance to do it at home, in front of a home crowd that truly lifts them to another level. A place where their role players feel more comfortable and are able to make plays.

But in the end, it will come down to Kevin Garnett if Boston is to win. He is their beating heart.

  1. infectorman - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    anything is poossssiiibbllllllleeeee!!!!!!!!!!

  2. thetruth1313 - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Good Job! Good Effort!

    • andyhr17 - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      The only hope the Heat have is getting that kid on the bench as an assistant coach.

  3. foxbos10 - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    While I support the sentiment that KG is an integral part of the C’s offense and defense, I disagree with the statement that “it will come down to Kevin Garnett if Boston is to win.” One of the great things about this team is that on any given night, any player, be it KG, Rondo, Pierce, or even Stiemsma can completely dominate his position, but in the end its all about the team. I am so incredibly proud of the Celtics for doing what everyone said they couldn’t.

  4. fredagsedb - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    If the is born may 19th, 1976 he is only 36. But still. Love his post-game interview.

  5. redblue560 - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Interesting position KG was put into by Danny Ainge. Let me bring back a sour note to celtics fans.

    Have you seen Perkins play for the Thunder lately. He seems to have lost weight, gained some speed and agility. I wonder how better the celtics would have been if they kept him around and did the conditioning the Thunder training staff did to him.

    • homelanddefense - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      It was a bad trade, everyone here in Boston admits that. But watching Perk the other night he seems like the worst player on the court. To be honest if he were back here in Boston I would rather have him heavier so he could bang, not run.

      Its also worth noting that this C’s team is on the verge of an NBA final and 3 players expected to play big minutes for them are out for the year. Jeff Green would be a really nice help for them right now. Also Wilcox and J Oneal.

      • kygreen - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        And to homelandefense, how is it that so many people call this a bad trade when Perk’s agent declined the max offer the Celts could give Perk under the old CBA. Perk refused to resign with the Celts, electing to go to free agency. The Celts were forced to trade him or let him walk away at the end of the season with nothing.

        “everyone here in Boston admits that”, except anyone involved with the Celts operations or picks up a newspaper now and then to watch the deal unfold.

      • homelanddefense - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        it was a bad trade from a basketball prospective. It gutted that team last year….they were toast after that trade. Yeah, Perk was most likely going to walk, but they traded away their starting center and the team collapsed after that, and Green didnt fit in at all after the trade.

        You just dont trade a quality starting center in the middle of a playoff run. Especially when your team is based on defense.

    • kygreen - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      Let me bring a sweet note. KG trained Perkins. On attitude. On toughness. On how to defend. If you don’t think KG will crawl into Perks head and bring back all of Perks fears and insecurities you haven’t been watching for the last 5 years or so.

      • homelanddefense - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        lets see how KG does when he has to face a legitimate NBA center for the first time in this years playoffs. Im a Celtics fan, but he wont have the success he has had this post season against San Antonio or OKC.

      • scalfor3 - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:35 PM

        he wont be posting up, he’ll be dragging perk (or duncan) away from the rim and hitting the 18 foot pick and pop

  6. fredagsedb - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Well he wasn’t half bad when they were there. Ainge made a big mistake trading him. Having Perkins and Rondo, would be a pretty good foundation when the big 3 are gone. But didn’t he trade Perkins because he couldn’t give him the contract he wanted with their cap space?

  7. mrlitl - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    I thought KG was 36.

  8. mungman69 - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Can Bosh slow down Garnett? He will have to for Miami to have a chance.

    • gmen4life33 - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM

      If the coach plays him more than 14 mins. I was watching th game, and told my friends around the 8 minute mark in 4th:

      “Oh really smart by Spo, hes going to put him in with 6 mins left in 4th so he can close out the game.”

      “Oh, he is going to put him in with 5 mins left, so he can give it 100% w/out getting tired. Smart.”

      “Umm, hes going in at 4 mins, so he can literally dive on the floor every play and still be good to finish it out.”

      “What the…..”

      • patsfiend - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:07 PM

        I was assuming Bosh was hurt, because regardlesss of the +/- when he was in there he was causing problems, especially for Garnett. As a Celtics fan I thank you, Spoelstra! I hope Spoelstra “protects” Bosh some more tomorrow night, please. Last thing we want is for him to feel bad about missing a couple shots in the last 3 minutes.

  9. lakerluver - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Man, KG is moving up my list of greatest pf’s. I still rank Tim Duncan number 1 but KG is making me rethink the rest of my list.

  10. rayburns - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Don’t you wish every NBA player left it on the court like KG does?

    Sure, he can be a bit of a jerk, but you can never say he doesn’t give 100% effort.

    • j0esixpack - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      Correct – even is biggest supporters know he can be a trash talking jerk.

      Many players let that get under their skin. That’s why he does it – and frankly that’s their problem if they let it affect their play, as many do.

      But he gives every ounce of effort he can and very quickly bought into the Team/Ubuntu concept with

      That and good savvy coaching may wind up being the difference here.

  11. lionsplayoffs - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Did anyone else see KG grab Pietrus’ arm during the time out and pull it into the middle for one last go team before LeWade choked? That was awesome.

    • patsfiend - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      I did notice that. He did it twice. Pietrus was kind of wandering around. The thing that bothered me is Pietrus STILL was wandering after KG did it the first time. Honestly, at that point, I was cringing every time Pietrus got the ball, since he never gets it without shooting (and missing)… and then he went and nailed those shots. Unbelievable.

      • lionsplayoffs - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        He did do it twice. And it seemed like the second time he yanked his arm harder – like “Pay attention.” That’s a guy who’s trying to lead and is focused. Also a guy who really wants another ring.

  12. jebdamone - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    I have watched almost every game Garnett has played in his professional career and he is by far my favorite player ever but even I am impressed with what he has accomplished in this years nba playoffs. there have been so few players in the history of the nba that play bball the way KG does. the intensity and the fire that he brings is unparalleled yet he also has a calming effect on his teammates and a confidence in ‘team’ that makes everyone better. I am a HUGE fan but attempting to be honest, there are only a couple players that I have seen play in my over 30 years of life that I would have rather had than Garnett.

  13. bozosforall - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    KG is nothing more than a thug who the refs let get away with cheap shots.

    • homelanddefense - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      bozo is nothing but a troll who lives to criticize Boston sports….and Boston fans.

      • bozosforall - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        Still better than any of you crybaby Boston fans will ever be. I have you all on strings as my puppets. Jump, idiots, jump.

      • doctorhoops - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:18 PM

        Now Flamey is exhibiting delusions of grandeur … his list of neuroses continues to grow.

      • homelanddefense - Jun 7, 2012 at 8:57 AM

        The best part is the only person who ever looks like a crybaby is you, BOZO.

  14. paulhargis53 - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    bozo: You highly overestimate yourself.
    People are laughing at you. You aren’t getting under anyone’s skin.
    Most people on here are trying to come to grips with how big of an idiot you are.
    Your lack ok knowledge is astounding.

    Your level of jealousy and hatred is amusing. I wish I could say the same for your repartee.
    It’s also amusing that all if your teams haven’t won anything as of late.
    It’s no wonder you attack fanbases of your rivals.
    You are a child. You’re probably in your 30s, more reason to pity you for your actions. Now, come on and dazzle me with some sophmoric name calling, homoerotic bs.
    unoriginal,lame and A know nothing. You’re Pathetic.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:40 PM

      Hate gets in the way of someone making very good points. Nobody expected the Los Angeles Kings to sweep thought the NHL playoffs the way they are doing, yet you don’t see thoughtless hate spewed in their direction. Some folks look for answers, others look for fights.

    • homelanddefense - Jun 7, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      if he is older than 25 it just makes him look more pathetic.

      • patsfiend - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:35 PM

        By the way, he’s a Niners fan. Add that to the list of his frontrunning teams. You can find comments between me and him on the string right after the B’s lost to the Capitals in G7, where he was the first to comment and rub everyone’s nose in it. If only we had a Boston fan who was classless enough to go on the Lakers board the second they lost…

  15. bostonfan2012 - Jun 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    I love KG and they will pull it off tonight. Hey BOZO the clown (LOL) stop hating on KG he is a great player at his age can you say the same!!!!!!!!

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