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Tag:Kevin Garnett
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:22 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 1:32 am
 

Report Card 3.6.12: Underdogs rule Tuesday

Posted by Ben Golliver  

The Bobcats enjoyed a rare win on Tuesday, over the Magic no less. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Charlotte Bobcats When you only win about once every two weeks and your first win since Feb. 17 comes against the No. 3 seed Orlando Magic, in convincing fashion, it's time to celebrate. That was the case for the Bobcats, who relentlessly pounded Orlando's defense and held the Magic offense to one-and-done looks possession after possession down the stretch, to dance their way to a 100-84 victory. Rookie Bismack Biyombo had his best game as a professional, going toe-to-toe with Dwight Howard to score 10 points, grab 15 rebounds and block an astounding 7 shots. He could barely contain his glee by the end, gesturing to the crowd in animated fashion as Charlotte walked off with the win.
Rodney Stuckey The Detroit Pistons guard outshot and outscored Kobe Bryant in a dramatic overtime win at the Palace. Stuckey scored Detroit's final seven points in regulation and tacked on another six in overtime, pushing the Pistons to an 88-85 upset win. He also put Bryant on skates with a vicious stepback crossover. He didn't do much else besides score, but that was more than enough.
Miami Heat Unlike the Magic and the Lakers, the Heat easily took care of business against lesser competition, stomping the New Jersey Nets, 108-78. Miami also enjoyed a nice soft launch in re-integrating Chris Bosh after he missed some time due to a death in the family. So why a "B"? Well, simple: irreplaceable guard Dwyane Wade suffered an apparently minor foot injury that kept him on the bench late. The good news: the Sun-Sentinel reports indicate he'll be fine and expects to start on Wednesday against the Hawks.
New York Knicks Dallas is now 15-7 at home, so expectations had to be somewhat tempered for the Knicks on the road. But a troubling 2-for-12 from Carmelo Anthony plus a decidedly not-superhuman performance from Jeremy Lin -- 14 points on 13 shots, 1-for-5 from deep, 7 assists and 2 turnovers, mixed in with long stretches of passive play -- make this a tough one. It was also New York's third loss in four games, with San Antonio on Wednesday. The next few weeks are critical if New York hopes to be better than the No. 8 seed.
Kobe Bryant He was due for an off night after three big scoring games in a row following the All-Star break, but Bryant's 8-for-26 shooting was a major reason the Lakers let what should have been an easy win slip away. While he nailed a pretty buzzer-beater to push the game to overtime, his performance and decision-making in the extra period was erratic. A forced deep three that didn't even come close on the final possession was Bryant at his worst.
Orlando Magic This was a hot mess of a loss to the Bobcats. Orlando scored just 13 points in the fourth and couldn't mange a single point in the final 2:47, conceding an 8-0 run to close the game. On the other end, Charlotte, the NBA's worst offense, seemingly scored at will, with Corey Maggette getting to the foul line 11 times and Gerald Henderson tossing in 16 points, including some big late buckets. Do the Magic even care? This was a lacking performance in virtually every area.


E FOR EFFORT
Dirk Nowitzki (28 points on 18 shots, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, in 34 minutes)
Kevin Garnett (13 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks in 38 minutes)
Bismack Biyombo (10 points, 15 rebounds, 7 blocks, 6-for-10 free throw shooting to overcome Hack-a-Biyombo down the stretch)
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:59 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 1:04 pm
 

Celtics eyeing Josh Smith?

Could Smith be shipping up to Boston soon? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Any day now. Any day, we're going to all be talking about the big trade the Celtics just made. Because there's just too much smoke for there not to be a fire.

There's the Rajon Rondo stuff, which is complicated. But there's also been chatter about the Celtics shopping their other core members. Including this from the New York Daily News:
"Ainge is trying to land Atlanta's Josh Smith and other young studs, while offering up Kevin Garnett. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen can also be had, for young players and draft picks. Rajon Rondo might be leaving, too, with the Lakers and Utah seen as possible destinations."
Two deals there are interesting: 1) Rondo for Smith straight up. The Celtics get a younger player to be a cornerstone for the future inside, while the Hawks get what they desperately need, a point guard to orchestrate the offense.

And 2) Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen for Smith, Kirk Hinrich and Zaza Pachulia.  The Celtics cut ties with their core and bring in a completely capable power forward to replace Garnett, while the Hawks, a team stuck in neutral, get Garnett and Allen giving them the chance to maybe make an actual run for once. While at the same time opening up some cap flexibility in the future.

Did I just spend 20 minutes playing with the Trade Machine to come up with those? Yes, yes I did.

Point is, the Celtics are looking at maybe shaking everything up. It's hard to see them moving Paul Pierce as he's been a part of that organization for so long as still appears to have good years left, but it might be time to finally break away from Ubuntu and start making moves. Because this Celtics team isn't winning anything any time soon. Heck, it's a question as to if they're making the playoffs right now.

Ainge tried to get younger in acquiring Jeff Green lasts season, but obviously that backfired. And he's certainly looking at doing the same this year too. He doesn't want to go through a total rebuild, not after all these good years. He wants to restock and retool the team by grabbing some young talent. And the only way to do that is to rip the bandaid right off and make a tough call on your key players.

Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:48 am
Edited on: February 22, 2012 1:51 pm
 

Charles Oakley calls out Garnett, Barkley

Charles Oakley called out KG and Charles Barkley over their behavior on Jime Rome's show. (Getty Images)


By Matt Moore
 


Charles Oakley has opinions. And he will tell you them. And you will listen. Or he will destroy you. And now the former Knick has turned his attention to two outspoken NBA personalities in Kevin Garnett and the Chuckster, Charles Barkley. 

Oakley appeared on "The Jim Rome Show"with Jim Rome Tuesday and spoke about the two. He did not hold back. You are not surprised. To the quotes! From Sports Talk Network:
"Garnett left Minnesota and hollered and screamed and all that but he's not a tough guy. He’s one of the weakest guys to ever play the game. He’s a complimentary player and went to Paul Pierce’s team and won a championship. I wouldn’t consider him a top 10 tough guy."
via Charles Oakley rips KG, Barkley.

Oakley's claims are harsh, no shock there, but they are reflective of the other side of KG. Garnett comes off as so intense because of the screaming and pounding his head against the stanchion and whatnot. And he has been known to get into some physical altercations... usually with diminutive point guards. His M.O is usually to reach out and slap or shove someone, then to back off while being "restrained" by his teammates. 

Thing is, that's a good thing.

Garnett shows restraint, which helps his team win ball games. He protects his reputation, gets in the head of his opponents, and doesn't get ejected. It's the best of all worlds. And while Garnett is certainly not as tough as the character he portrays when the arena lights come on, to say he's one of the weakest to ever play is absurd. You can't be as great a defender as he is without being at least slightly-above-average tough.

But I'll let you tell Oakley that. Because he terrifies me.

Oaklay also weighed in on legend Charles Barkley, a friend of Michael Jordan who Oakley is also notoriously close with. He was not much nicer to the Round Mound Who Isn't So Round Anymore: 
 Barkley for his size was a good player but he’s a coward though. He was a good player for his size but, he wasn’t a leader and wasn’t a role model. Now he talks so bad about younger guys, I don’t respect that from him…He’s a fraud, he can criticize all the younger kids and if he got something to say, call them and talk to them before you just blast them. He’s wants to be funny, that whole TNT thing and all that, they’re like some clowns on that show.
via Charles Oakley rips KG, Barkley.

As Jim Rome would say, "strong."

Jeez, Oak, don't hold back. Tell us how you feel. 

("ROME with Jim Rome" debuts on CBS Sports Network April 3rd.  You can follow him on Twitter @JimRome.
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:51 pm
 

Video: Celtics start offense by snapping the ball

Posted by Royce Young



Primetime spotlight game on TNT against a hated rival. The Celtics need to come out focused, ready and ready against the Lakers. They win the tip, the ball falls to Kevin Garnett and here we go.

What does he do? He bends over like he's a deep snapper and snaps the ball back to his punter, in this case being Rajon Rondo. And to top it off, Rondo snaps it to himself after that. Was that basketball's version of the fumblerooski? Or the Celtics just coming out loose and confident?

I don't know why the Celtics did that, but I would approve of that becoming a little tradition.

Via BDL
Posted on: February 9, 2012 4:30 pm
 

The Lakers, Celtics, and a window propped open

The Lakers and Celtics don't seem like contenders this year, but has their window really closed? (Getty Images)


By Matt Moore
 

Lakers vs. Celtics just doesn't have the same umph to it it usually does, does it?

I mean, it's not like we're talking about lottery squads. The Lakers are 14-11, the Celtics 14-10. Neither team is below .500 even if neither team is remarkably above. Kobe Bryant? Still walking into the Garden Thursday night. Same for Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo. The only real players missing from their titanic clashes over the past four years are Kendrick Perkins, feuding with LeBron over someone else's dunk on him, and Lamar Odom, struggling to be the Lamar Odom he was with the Lakers without the Lakers, (or Phil Jackson). The cast of characters is essentially still in place.

But this feels more like a sideshow game, a "don't call it an old timer's game" than a showdown between contenders. Suddenly it's the Lakers and Celtics trying to prove that they can still do it, can still facedown the younger, hungrier teams and make a run at the title.

The Lakers are lethargic. Everything on offense seems so difficult. Kobe Bryant's brilliant scoring numbers are lauded by scribes who aren't bothering to check how many shots he's putting up. We've gotten to the point where Lakers fans are more consciously aware of where Bryant is at in his career than the scribes who are paid to watch on a nightly basis. Because "Kobe Bryant, once and always scoring king" is a better story. Let's not get this confused. Bryant's not Joe Johnson here. He's got a 23.4 PER. He's shooting 44 percent from the field. But the reality is that Bryant's forcing this, as much as he's ever forced it. Maybe he has to because of he offense, which seems to meander between helpless and workman-like. The Lakers are winning more games than they're losing. But they're also losing so many games they once dispatched with ease.

The Celtics are just sloppy. They're on a tear, a five-game winning streak, and have been pounding teams back into the dirt. But there are still long stretches where you can tell the Celtics just struggle with what to do. Paul Pierce has picked up his play, Ray Allen is still knocking down shots, and Kevin Garnett is still doing Kevin Garnett things. But there's a general lack of cohesion, a lack of precision, a failure to execute cleanly that we've seen in the past. This is still a very good team. But it doesn't feel like the Celtics of old.

So is Thursday night's game meaningless? Is the window closed?

Absolutely not. Bryant, in the L.A. Times:
Though they may falter on the road and remain in the middle of the playoff pack, Bryant didnt seem overly concerned looking ahead to May.

"I don't know too many people that are comfortable playing us, know what I mean?" he said, smiling.

He hoped the Lakers could snare some momentum over the next couple of months, gradually improving as the regular season winds down."If you figure things out going into the postseason and you get a good rhythm, that's what you want, especially in a short season," he said.
via Lakers FYI: Kobe Bryant says other teams are still worried about the Lakers - Los Angeles Times.

Bryant's on target here. Because the same thing that ensures neither team will be able to acquire a top-three seed in all likelihood is the very thing that ensures that trying to dig them out of the playoffs will be like getting shrapnel out of wood with a spoon.

Experience.

There's a not-so-secret adage that says that young teams don't win titles. Experienced teams do. The Spurs, the Celtics, the Lakers, the Mavericks. The Mavericks spoke very strongly last spring of the benefits of having players who knew how to respond, to keep their cool, to execute consistently. The Celtics and Lakers have precisely those teams.

This season is about survival, it's about simply managing to get through this brutal, compact season, avoid long-term injuries and make it into the dance, so to speak. Once that happens, the game changes. The pace slows down, where the Celtics are more comfortable. The Lakers' length and size become dramatically different in terms of impact. Kobe Bryant's efficiency becomes less important because all efficiency is impacted by the style of play. Pau Gasol's versatility becomes an asset. The Celtics' savvy in drawing and avoiding fouls frustrates teams. Does that mean that either will be representing their conference in the Finals? Not necessarily. But it does mean that dealing with them will not be easy. The Heat may have dismissed the Celtics last season, but there's no reason to think the Celtics can't turn a few more opportunities into wins. The Lakers were trounced by a Mavs team that no longer exists. In fact, the Lakers could very well be a different team in a matter of weeks. 

The Boston-L.A. rivalry resumes Thursday night, and it doesn't feel the same as it once did.

But maybe it will provide both with a reminder of how good they can be, and how very much they would like to see the other again sometime in June.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:30 am
Edited on: February 3, 2012 5:24 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: A Magical Time

By Matt Moore



In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5, we look back on extensions week, ask if the Celtics are back, and of course, check in on Dwight Howard. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS

1. After two games between Orlando and Boston this week, is Boston "back?" 

Ken Berger: I still think they're going to be OK. What a difference when Pierce has it going. He's clearly getting his confidence back. What happened Thursday night was as much about the Magic's fragility as it was about the Celtics' resilience. But to come back like that on the road, without Rondo or Allen, is a great sign for Boston. The Celtics' bench is still way too thin, and they don't have enough size. But one thing they need more than anything is some young legs and youthful exuberance, not to mention those attributes coming with meaningful contributions. They got that Thursday night from E'Twaun Moore. A much needed jolt for Boston's elders.

2. What extension decision, signed or unsigned, surprised you the most?

Ken Berger: I don't know that any surprised me, but the most interesting case was Eric Gordon. Given his knee situation, it's difficult to make a largely unnecessary long-term commitment now. But clearly the Hornets can't afford to lose the most significant asset they received in the Chris Paul trade. But much like Kevin Love's shorter extension with Minnesota, this arrangement could work out in Gordon's favor. If he comes back healthy and continues to put up big numbers, he'll command a bigger deal as a restricted free agent. And New Orleans knows they control the situation because they can match.

3. The Pacers have an interest in Eric Gordon. With his future in the air, is there any chance teams make a run at him in trade at the deadline?

Ken Berger: It would be logical for Gordon, the IU product, to wind up only a short drive from Bloomington. But I don't expect the Hornets to entertain in-season trade offers for him. There's no reason to panic since they have the right to match next summer.

4. We hear a lot about the Magic waiting to make a decision on Dwight Howard. But how about the Lakers? Are they going to give this team a chance to gel or will they pounce at the first opportunity for improvement?

Ken Berger: It always depends on the deal. If Howard can be had for a price that's less than Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, then the dialogue could catch fire pretty quickly. But unless Orlando completely goes in the tank -- and they haven't been playing well lately -- I see no signs that Otis Smith and Alex Martins are going to consider anything less than an all-out blockbuster offer for Howard. There's one caveat: If the realization of losing Howard for nothing hits the Magic organization like a freight train on March 14, it's impossible to predict now how they'll react.

5. Explain why the Minnesota Timberwolves not signing Kevin Love for as many years as possible is in any way a good decision on their part, please.

Ken Berger: I got into this in Postups yesterday. Basically, it's a good deal for both sides. Love has three years to determine if the Wolves are, in fact, going in the right direction. The Wolves, in turn, get to preserve their five-year designated player extension for Ricky Rubio. But Minnesota also will be able to get Love on a five-year extension after he opts out of the fourth year of this deal. And Love will get more money, too. With seven-plus years of service at that point, he'd be eligible for 30 percent of the cap.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 10:34 am
 

Dwight Howard: Magic have to 'change'

Howard is an unrestrictred free agent in the summer of 2012. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The circumstances were pretty complex Thursday night. The Orlando Magic blew a 27-point lead, at home, to the Boston Celtics, who had come up as a new possible landing place for Dwight Howard. So while one regular season win or loss is not going to sway Howard one way or the other, it's definitely not the message you want to send if you're Orlando trying to keep the most dominant center in the league playing in your laundry. Especially when afterwards he says things like this, from the Orlando Sentinel:  
Howard intimated that teammates didn’t stick to their roles Thursday night’s loss to Boston.

“We didn’t play the right way and we have to change,” he said.“Everybody just can’t come down the floor and feel like they have to take the game over. You just have to play team-ball and play the way we want to play. We didn’t do that.”

Howard included himself in the meltdown inwhich the Magic lost a 27-point lead.
via Dwight Howard calls out teammates to “change” – Orlando Magic BasketBlog – Orlando Sentinel.

This isn't anything new. Howard, like a lot of stars, is often critical of his team after a particularly bad loss. It just doesn't come at a great time with his impending free agency hanging over the Magic, just hours after he told reporters he'd answer a call from the Celtics about acquiring him. 

Howard has told reporters in the past that not having his input weighted more heavily by the front office is part of his decision to ask for a trade. When Howard says the Magic have to "change," he probably has some ideas about how that change should occur. The Magic's fate with regards to Howard has been sealed for months. But Thursday night certainly didn't help.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 1:01 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 1:10 am
 

Kevin Garnett interview: 'It was a bar fight'

Posted by Ben Golliver

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett once told us that "anything is possible," and "anything" certainly includes mounting a comeback from 27 points down to defeat the Orlando Magic on the road without Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen.

That's what Garnett's Celtics did on Thursday night and you can probably imagine that he was pumped up about it afterwards.

In what will go down as one of his most memorable post-game interviews, Garnett got emotional with TNT's Craig Sager immediately following Boston's 91-83 victory.

"Goddamn bar fight! Goddamn bar fight, man! It's a bar fight, Craig," Garnett shouted, shifting his weight back and forth as he often does when the adrenaline is flowing. "Bar fight! Tonight was a bar fight, man! We knew they were going to come in with a lot of energy, tonight was a bar fight. Have you ever been in a bar fight? Ask Charles [Barkley], he's been in a bar fight. This is what it was tonight." 

In case you weren't counting, that was eight "bar fights" in less than 20 seconds.

"We won in the second half," Garnett continued. "In the first half, they came out with a lot of energy, put ourselves in a hole, then we simplified our offense, came out... I forgot you were doing the interview. Go ahead."

He then paused to catch his breath. "Woo man."

Sager then asked if he believed Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who said earlier in the game that a comeback was possible.

"Absolutely. Since I've been here in Boston, Doc has never told me nothing that wasn't true.  We were in the Finals one time, we were down whatever it was, he told me we could come back, I believed it and we did. Tonight was no different. Woo."

Sager attempted another question but Garnett started to veer into incomprehensible statements, shouting out to Ray "Ray Ray" Allen to congratulate him on the birth of his child and then telling Sager, "you look good tonight, dog." 

Before saying "go to bed, boo boo," and simply leaving the interview to go to the locker room, Garnett admitted: "I'm all over the place."

No doubt about that. Good times.

Here's the video courtesy of YouTube user The Ultimate Jordan.



Hat tip: @TasMelas
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com