Perspective #1: HE'S BACK!
KG dropped 11 points in the first quarter. He only missed two shots. He was quarterbacking that D and he rebounding.
Oh yeah… he's back, baby. This was the kind of KG performance that will make it REAL easy for the Celtics waltz through the East.
I saw more than a few "he's back" type of comments during yesterday's game. Hell, I might have made a few myself. This is probably the most common Celtics perspective because we've seen KG struggle.
First, it was the post-knee injury struggles…. then it was the shin-splint-slowed struggles through training camp. So to see this kind of improvement is VERY encouraging.
Perspective #2: He's not quite back, but he's making progress
Pulled that one out of the Doc Rivers playbook.
to have some good days, some bad days, but you know he’s healthy and
that’s all that counts for us.”
I think when I take a step back and breathe after looking at this game, this is the perspective that makes the most sense. There was a stretch in the second half where KG was busting ass and getting ahead on the break… then dragging ass back because he's still not in basketball shape. He sure as hell was impressive in this game… but he had stretches that he looked tired out there.
Perspective #3: KG isn't really "KG" anymore.
This comes from our friend Ryan McNeill on Hoops Addict.
Speaking of stats not telling the full story, by skimming Kevin
Garnett’s stats you would assume he’s ready for another NBA season.
However, from what I saw tonight Garnett looks like he aged 10 years since I saw him play last season.
Sure, he posted an impressive stat line in the first half of 15
points and 4 rebounds before finishing with a game high 21 points, but
what stuck out for me was watching the veteran forward hobble up and
down the court with a noticeable limp.
Then when Garnett retreated to the bench in the second quarter the first thing he did was start icing his knees.
Not the kind of stuff Celtics fans have to be happy to see.
Further adding to my concern was a sequence in the first quarter
when Garnett was camped under the basket for an easy rebound but Andrea
Bargani was able to drop down from the foul line and steal the rebound.
Not only that, but in a couple fluid movements Bargnani was able to
spin by Garnett and finish the play off with an impressive dunk.
There is no way this sequence of events would have transpired last season.
Certainly the "glass half empty" scenario. I remember the play he's talking about and I do remember thinking how, once upon a time, Garnett wouldn't have let that happen.
But I think the ability to blow by KG started to come about before this preseason. I think we saw some of that developing over the last few years. Bottom line is KG's lateral movement isn't what it used to be. But that might be more mileage than injury residual.
3 different takes on the same sequence of events. I still think there's plenty for C's fans to like. KG's still got work to do… but I like the progress.