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In a much-anticipated game, the Celtics prevailed over the Minnesota Timberwolves 87-86. Kevin Garnett was playing in his first regular season game against his former team, while 5 former Celtics were in the game for Minnesota. Despite all the attention paid to those 6 players, C’s center Kendrick Perkins emerged as the star with a game-high 21 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots.
Former C’s point guard Sebastian Telfair led the T-Wolves with 18 points and 6 assists. He has played well since joining Minnesota, so maybe all he needed was a change in scenery. Let’s face it, he was never going to play well in Boston. I never liked his passing skills, and it seems Doc Rivers didn’t either (he never really played him). Good to see he’s doing well for himself.
With Minnesota in town, let us analyze the offseason trade that brought KG to Boston, looking only at last night’s statistics.
First, it’s important to note that the other player involved in the deal, Theo Ratliff, didn’t play and never usually does. He just takes his nice $11 million paycheck while “nursing” various injuries.
Second, it’s also hard to judge the trade, because obviously the T-Wolves did more because it’s 4 vs. 1. You still get the picture though. These players are beginning to flourish with Minnesota now that they’re not playing under Paul Pierce’s shadow. But, they are the worst team in the NBA at 7-35, while the C’s are the best team in the NBA at 34-7. Two franchises going in completely opposite directions. There is a bright future ahead for Al Jefferson, but it’s really hard to argue that the Kevin Garnett trade wasn’t a good thing for the Celtics.
It’s also worth mentioning that former Celtics captain Antoine Walker had himself an interesting game:
Amazingly, ‘Toine’s only 3 points came from a 3-pointer he had during the game. Also of note is his 4 steals while playing just 15 minutes. I’ll admit it, I really miss him and his leadership skills. KG’s now the true leader of this team, but Antoine will always be my leader.
Anyway, for the most part, Perk did a nice job covering Big Al down low. Al finished with 15 points on just 6-14 shooting and 5 rebounds. The rematch in Minnesota should be even bigger with KG’s return. Perhaps Big Al will rise to the occasion and post better numbers.
Can you believe it? The Celtics have already played 41 games, going through half the season. 34-7 is an amazing beginning as they are on pace for an absurd 68-14 record! The C’s next play on Sunday afternoon at the site of their first loss of the season, in Orlando against the Magic.