I often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and bloggers are saying about the Celtics after playing the Celtics. Here's a dose of 'enemy chatter' from Minnesota.
The debate before Friday night's game at Target Center was whether Kevin Garnett in his prime or Kevin Love as a 23-year-old stats monster was the best player in Timberwolves history.
Garnett still has enough pals to be aware that this conversation was taking place in the Twin Cities dailies and on sports talk radio.
Anyone raising this issue did no favors to Love. Tom Hanneman, the Wolves' TV play-by-play announcer, said he was told by his Boston peers that they had not seen Garnett so fired up before a game in a couple of years.
That's not a surprise to anyone who watched Garnett in his 12 seasons in Minnesota. If we learned anything, it was that any hint of disrespect turned KG from merely a fierce competitor to an uncaged lion.
And during the 34 minutes of hell that Garnett brought to the Target Center court, he changed the parameters of the debate to this: Who is the best power forward in the NBA today — Love at 23, with all those numbers, or Garnett at 35, who remains aware that a big effort on defense can be as decisive as saving your energy to play offense?
A great column on the Minnesota perspective of last night's KG vs Kevin Love match-up. I didn't think it was possible for Garnett to be fire up more than usual. Guess I was wrong.
The writer (Patrick Reusse) also pointed out a few barbs KG lobbed in Love's direction:
"Love is really good, very solid … very, very offensive-minded."
"I know Kevin don't really play a lot of defense… "
Reusse is on KG's side in this debate. He makes it known that stats are great, but defense and intangibles are necessary to a team's success.
Minnesotans seem split on KG. Half love him, and half hate him for leaving. The latter believe his max-contract demands didn't allow the team to sign other quality players.
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)