This seems to be one of those things that comes up once in a while, with everyone thinking it, except for the player himself. Kevin Garnett can only think about trying to keep the Boston Celtics alive for one more game in the playoffs, while everyone else, considering his age, injuries and his declining production, are considering his upcoming retirement.
Again, when Garnett is asked about it, he pays no attention to the humming and buzzing about every game left in the series vs the New York Knicks (game 5 might be the last, if things go according to plan and the favorites win at home) potentially being his final NBA game as well.
Not really. Game 7’s an all-out. That’s just what they are, the last opportunity to survive. Your mentality can’t be anything different. I’m thinking about the game Wednesday, and pretty much I haven’t thought about post-, after. I’m focusing on what it’s going to take to get to the next game.
Game 7, because every game is a game 7 after losing three times in the series already. The Knicks won the first three games before dropping the fourth in overtime (97-90), the only game so far in this series that the Celtics managed to score more than 78 points. Garnett, and the rest of his teammates, refuse to believe that those 97 points were the exception.
I haven’t even given it any, like I said, even any type of next year, post-, pre-, nothing. I’m just trying to focus on this game coming up. The challenges of being on the road are very difficult, obviously. We have belief that we can win on the road. Obviously it’s all about going out and doing it. They play very, very well at home, so our work’s cut out for us. We’ve got to be ready.
But looking at what’s happened in this series and the way the Celtics have played on offense, they need something rare to happen. For Paul Pierce to have another incredible game as he’s busy scoring and being the point-forward for the team that’s left without a point guard. For Jeff Green to have another impressive shooting night, while Carmelo Anthony continues to have an awful one.
Garnett is close to a non-factor at this point on offense. Without Rajon Rondo making him look good, he can’t find open spots to dominate from, and is left to try and affect the game through his defense, which isn’t as good as it used to be. Age, injuries and fatigue, all coming together, as the Celtics need every able-bodied man to keep the ship from finally sinking this seasons and for the foreseeable future.
We have no pressure at this point. It should be an all-out mentality, and you should play with a free mind, an aggressive mind. You know, take this thing one game at a time and see what happens. Other than that, we put ourselves in this position, so we can’t bitch and moan about too much.
There’s still plenty of hunger in Garnett to play, but there’s a chance his body has had enough. After 1452 games including the playoffs, Garnett has this zombieness to him except for his facial expressions. He’s averaging 11.3 points and 13.5 rebounds per game in the series, but he’s shooting 43.9% from the field and just doesn’t make an impact like he did last season or even earlier this year.
Unless the Celtics play the kind of offensive game they’re probably not good enough to put up for a second consecutive night, especially playing on the road, there’s a good chance that the 2013 NBA playoffs were the final time Garnett wore Celtics green, or an NBA jersey at all. He’s a proud, competitive player and person. Becoming a role player on a team without much of a chance to compete doesn’t sound like something he’d like to put his body through, despite the contract that pays him $24 million for the next couple of seasons.