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Your Morning Dump…Where KG is slowing down

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

BOSTON — With so much energy that he always seems to be on the verge of exploding, it should come as no surprise that Kevin Garnett has to be told to slow down from time to time.

Doc Rivers found himself in desperate need of that energy from Garnett, who responded to Rivers’ plea in helping Boston knock off Orlando 116-110 in overtime on Sunday.

Garnett had a game-high 24 points in the win, half of which came in the fourth quarter following a third-quarter collapse by the Celtics that saw their 12-point lead totally wiped out.

“I was on him about slowing down, because there’s no one his size,” said Rivers, who added that the Magic did a nice job of keeping a body on Garnett, which led him to shoot more quickly than usual.

I specifically remember late in the game watching this. KG had a wide open path to the basket, with only Jameer      Nelson in his way. But instead of driving, he fired up a quick off-balance shot that clanked off the rim. Normally I’m happy with KG taking a jumper, but not in that instance.

 But when the game was anyone’s for the taking, Garnett made sure it was his. All his.

He had 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, providing the kind of steady production down the stretch that was absolutely critical to the Celtics to win and will remain a vital component for future success.

“When he slowed down,” Rivers said, “the game changed for us.”

Garnett said he had no idea that the Celtics would make him such a priority on offense down the stretch.

“Usually times like (that), Paul (Pierce), Rajon (Rondo), each one gets in another gear,” Garnett said. “You could see . . . we had a little lackadaisical presence. Everyone reaches within themselves to try pick it up.”

This is just another part of the adjustment of being an older player.  He’s going to be 37 before the season is over, but his production isn’t slowing down at all.  In fact, he’s doing more with less time on the floor.   He’s playing two minutes less per game, but his average is up slightly.  And that means his per-36 numbers are up even more.  He’s averaging 19.6 ppg per 36, which is higher than his career average and only a point off of his first season in Boston.

Everyone slows down when they get older.  For a guy as intense as KG, that could be a good thing.

The rest of the links:

Globe: Sullinger, Bass work to help C’s rebounding numbers | CSNNE: Celtics crash boards in win over Magic   |  Herald: Barbosa out to make a score   |  Rivers not concerned with Green misses  |  ESPN Boston:  Rondo edged for Player of the Week  |  Bass is all over the glass  |  WEEI:  Why Rondo’s assists streak is more impressive than Stockton’s or Magic’s

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  • JBcelticsFan

    I dont understand, KG slowing down almost lost the game but him slowing down is a good thing?

    • Stephanie

      I think the slowing down they’re talking about is not rushing his shots, but letting his offense come to him and playing more settled and focused instead of frantic.

    • KG slowing down and conserving energy is working out when he’s on the floor. He can’t play his normal minutes, but his play when he’s out there is great.

  • Noori

    It makes me kind sad because I don’t see the get in your face all 48 minutes high energy KG anymore. Age is a bitch!

    • CelticsKid34

      hes still putting his 100% in. he is still a top 5 pf. NO ONE!!! I MEAN NO ONE!!! should go ALL OUT against the Magic of all teams.. hang in there. look for KG to show his true colors when it counts = playoffs

  • Astarot

    Just another sign how important KG is for Boston D obviously but also on the attack down the stretch and another signal he can’t do this for 48 minutes anymore. It will be more and more important for the team to learn how to play without KG on the floor even in the tight games. He will still do a lot of great things for Cs thanks to his passion but looking at him taking deep breaths standing at the FT line in OT shows he’s doing more than his body is capable of doing. One day there won’t be KG walking into TD Garden even though it’s hard to imagine looking at the level he’s playing on right now.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Put Wilcox on the floor…along with KG.

    This will give the opposition a second player, in the paint, to be very concerned about. Right now, they only have to focus on KG, which is not good for a 36 year old, with a slightly built body.

    • JBcelticsFan

      Are you implying that Wilcox has a post game? I hope not. Wilcox can run the floor, rebound and provide energy on defense. To say the opposition has to worry about him on offense is just… no.

      • Curt

        I’ll grant you that, but Rondo spends more time in the paint than anyone on the team. If Boston doesn’t start playing in the paint, they’ll be a sub-.500 team.

        Sully does this, but he’s no Marcin Gortat or Anderson Varejao or younger Kevin Garnett.

      • 17rings

        When rondo has the ball, the offense does have to keep a body on him. He’s not going to post up and go McHale on anyone.

        I agree though, I think KG and Wilcox at the same time is our best option for defending the paint & rebounding. I’d like to see them out there together more often. (I realize Wilcox subs in for KG, but they could overlap here and there).

    • Yes, yes and YES.

      • RedsLoveChild

        Since 2007…Boston has been most successful when KG has shared the floor with a huge, bulky “big”. Perk goes without saying. The Celts were tearing up the league even a washed-up Shaq teaming up with KG!

        On the current roster, Wilcox could play that role.

        Jason Collins offers even greater size/bulk than Wilcox….but apparently Rivers doesn`t even know he`s on the team!

    • wil reyes

      you cant put both tall players at ones, you’ll be left with Bass and Sully, both undersized.

  • CelticsKid34

    eehhh the title should have read “where KG SHOULD slow down” because he is not slowing down unwillingly. he is still an elite forward/center in the nba and can bang with the big/young guys in the paint. just a title not matching the article

  • Roy

    A lot of the offense seems rushed at times. I get it we are trying to make it an up tempo game but our true identity is running the offense. By pushing the game I think it’s also hurting our offense since we are dashing to the get the basket then gotta rush back if we miss

  • Chris

    Playoffs-model KG is a whole different kind of beast. Let him slow down through the reg season. He’ll unleash as he always does when we need him.