|Posted by GreenBanner18 on April 18, 2010 at 1:29 AM|
Bruised and Beaten - But a Warrior at Heart
You would have either not been watching the game last night, or you would be living under a rock to not notice the extra level of energy and ability Kevin Garnett brought to the floor in Game 1 against the Miami Heat. As was noted in an article by Jackie MacMullan, KG has been angry all year with basketball in general. Not angry so much with the team, or the fans, but his own physical ability. He has come to understand what his limits are due to his knee injury, but at the same time it frustrates him that people don't see him as giving it 100%.
Now obviously all year he took it kind of easy. I don't mean he slacked, but he didn't do anything that didn't need to be done. For example he did not try to throw down a monstrous dunk over someone- he would instead try to lay it in. He did that for one reason: there was no sense in going for the highlight play when the other way would get the same result.
So all year because of that people looked at him and said, "He doesn't have it anymore". Or, "His lift isn't there. His career is over as we know it." Sure, even last night he did not have the same lift as his prime, or even 07-08 for that matter, but it was visible that he was much less tentative.
What did it for me was the first 5 minutes of the game. Wow, what a difference the post season makes. (For a minute, since I haven't written anything really on the game last night, let me just say a few sentences about what I saw.) The first 5 minutes of the game was amazing. The Celtics were playing off the adrenaline rush of being in the playoffs for game 1, and they were busting it. It was special, and when the team cares, it gives me a revived reason to care more about the game I am watching.
Anyways, in that 5 minutes Garnett was going in overdrive. He was running the floor and playing absolutely fearless basketball. Throughout the game we saw a reemergence of the lob from Rondo (which occurred twice I believe). We also saw him take the ball and finish strong with dunks, instead of lay ins. Then early in the game he tried to go up and over his defender to slam it down in his face.
Sure, 2 points is 2 points in the regular season, but it is not just 2 points in the postseason. No, in the postseason 2 points can make a statement. A slam dunk instead of a lay in is a huge momentum changer. A dunk vs a layup pushes the crowd to the next level. This is when it is time for KG to let it all hang out. There is nothing else to "look forward" to anymore- it is already there. The postseason is the now. Garnett is now showing us why he saved this all up. He kept it in the tank to make a run when it counted.
Although he got ejected, and may or may not play in game 2, it was very intriguing to see his upgraded style of play that he is going to bring to the playoffs. The Big Ticket finished with 15 points on an efficient 6-10 night, and an all important 9 rebounds. NINE REBOUNDS.. That was what we needed more out of him right? It's time, and I like what I saw from KG, and the rest of the team.
Respect what you are seeing, because Kevin Garnett is playing through extreme pain for the team and the fans...
(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)