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 Philadelphia.
And finally, Lavoy Allen. I clearly timed my post yesterday around this breakout performance. He played 30 minutes of super-solid basketball, looking more and more confident as time went along and effectively neutralizing Garnett on his own. He finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds, but his defense is what stood out. While not really a “KG Stopper” like I proclaimed earlier, he did allow the Sixers the ability to defend everyone one-on-one. With Hawes as the primary defender, Garnett got where he wanted, when he wanted, forcing the Sixers to double team him on occasion in the post, invariably leaving other players open. With Allen, this didn’t happen. We needed a big to step up, and Lavoy did. He was the difference tonight.
While I don't have the luxury of watching game tape to analyze Allen and Garnett going mano-a-mano, I'll go out on a limb and say "effectively neutralized" is a major exaggeration.
The Celtics never got Kevin Garnett any consistent looks. He had 5 shot attempts in the first three quarters. And in the fourth, he went 5-7. That's a far cry from good defense.
On Page 2, Philly's reaction to Garnett's illegal screen.
I don't understand the outcry over the call from the national media. Garnett committed two fouls on that play, looking more like an offensive lineman (albeit a really tall and skinny one) than a basketball player. Leaning over and elbowing the other player is an offensive foul, even if your feet are set (which they weren't).
The only legitimate retort the Celtics have is that Garnett commits that foul all game, every game.
Two fouls? A lot of exaggeration coming out of Philadelphia today.
Be grateful the official had the balls to call that foul.