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Kevin Garnett is the most intense player I have seen on the Celtics in my lifetime.
KG (or the “The Big Ticket”) was one of the major pieces to this Championship winning team. Garnett was a powerhouse the whole season. From the moment the Celtics finalized the deal to bring him to Boston to the last seconds of Game 6 in the NBA Finals, Garnett provided a huge boost to the Celtics’ roster.
Garnett may have had a down year compared to his normal career statistics but like Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, his numbers had a slight decline because he was finally playing alongside All-Star-caliber players. Garnett was amazing under the basket, could post a great jumper, was a dominant defensive stopper, and grabbed nearly every rebound that came his way.
Garnett finished the regular season averaging 18.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Like I said earlier, his numbers may have been down a bit, but it did not stop Garnett from being the leading vote getter in the NBA All-Star Game (though he did not play due to injury) and finally winning the elusive ring that he always dreamed about. I am sure if you asked Kevin personally, he would say that this was the best season of his career.
KG lead the team in rebounding and was the team’s second in scoring to Paul Pierce. Garnett really showed his talent on the defensive side of the court and was even named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. One final honor for Garnett was being named to the NBA All-First team that featured Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, and Chris Paul as its other members.
Garnett’s only pitfall this season was the abdominal strain injury he suffered while playing his old Minnesota Timberwolves in Boston. This injury sidelined him for a few weeks and also caused him to miss the All-Star Game in New Orleans. Luckily, Garnett and the Celtics did not have to go through any long-term side effects of the injury and Kevin was right back to his old self soon after coming back.
In the playoffs, Garnett’s leadership and intensity were some of the major reasons the Celtics were able to go all the way. His statistics also went up a great deal from his regular season numbers as well. In the playoffs Garnett averaged 20.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.12 blocks per game. One cannot ask for better numbers in a time when everyone needs to take it up a notch.
Kevin Garnett and the blockbuster deal that went to take him out of Minnesota was one of the best moves in Celtics’ history, and the best of Danny Ainge’s career as a GM. KG still has four more seasons on his contract and I certainly hope that he brings the same intensity and power to the court in each remaining season as he did this first one.