"After [Game 2] I came in and just said, ‘We’re not going to beat anybody — JV teams or high school teams — if we were not going to play together," Kevin Garnett said. "We’ve worked so hard to get to where we’re at and we got there together. Ubuntu — we’ve been preaching that since I’ve been here. I had to just remind the guys, including the younger guys, so the new guys on how we succeed here and the creed, Celtics basketball and what we are here. I just had to reiterate that."
And by "reiterate," he means unleash and unholy stream of expletives that nearly melted their faces off. I think Sean Williams cried.
Message received, huh?
A few things will happen every playoff series for the Celtics: They'll steal a game, they'll blow the team out, and they'll have a solid, 10 point win where they were in control for most of the game. They got two of those out of the way now. Next up, the solid 10 point win, which might be next up on the menu.
For now, though, let us bask in the greatness of Kevin Garnett… who, when he broke into the league, still had John Stockton and Karl Malone to contend. When Kevin Garnett was a rookie, Spencer Hawes was 12 years-old 7 years-old. And KG treated Hawes like he was still 7 last night, sending the message that play time is over. I'm not 100% sure why the Sixers saw fit to leave KG pretty much wide open on those pick-and-pops. It's not like the Celtics haven't run that before. KG's only been hitting that same shot for 17 years.
Y'know. It just hit me right there. Kevin Garnett came into the league at 19 years old. He's been playing for 17 years. The man has spent almost half his life playing NBA basketball. I guess you learn a thing or two when you do that.
Related links: CSNNE: C's send message with statement win |
On Page 2: Paul Pierce downplays his impact
“I just wanted to be aggressive and that’s it,” Pierce said after scoring 24 points, launching 17 shots, grabbing 12 rebounds and going 11-of-14 from the free throw line. “When I’m getting limited to seven shots, nine shots, that’s not me. Whether I was shooting well or not, I was going to be aggressive.”
Doc mentioned this postgame… and it's worth bringing up now: When you look at the box score and you see a guy who struggled with his shot… then you see that he had 5 offensive rebounds… that tells you something.
The NBA doesn't often teach young players much, because these guys are SO talented, that they can do certain things wrong and get away with it. But this is one of those "teachable moments" for coaches and parents. Paul Pierce, a superstar who is battling an knee issue and his own athletic mortality, did whatever it took to win that game. He grabbed 12 rebounds on 1 leg, 5 of them on the offensive glass. That's busting your ass. That's setting an example. That's Paul Pierce.
Garnett and Rondo were very impressive last night, but so was Paul Pierce. He just did it a different way.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Hurricane Garnett rips through Philly in Game 3 | WEEI: C's find offense, take series lead | Herald: C's paint pretty picture | Rondo attacks at will | Celts land on the inside | Pietrus finds his shot | Globe: Teams battling different foes