Celtics

Garnett inspires wonder with inexplicable play

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Garnett inspires wonder with inexplicable play

On Saturday night, Kevin Garnett delivered his latest in a long line of headline-stealing quotes.

I have no life at this point," said Garnett, with whom I now have at least one thing in common. "I go home, get treatment, come back in here, study tape, film -- no life at all. This is what it is.

The quote goes up on the 2012 playoff cork board, along with other classics like:

Rondos the head that makes the Voltron.

Some of yall dont know how to bake, but dont worry about it. Ask your mothers and fathers or something someone who knows how to bake.

My only advice to him is next time he opens his mouth, actually know what he's talking about X's and O's versus checkbooks and bottom lines.

Happy Mothers Day to you mothers and future mothers. I aint talking to you deadbeat ass dads.

To be honest, the no life quote isnt nearly as entertaining as some of the others, but what it lacks in humor and KG-quirkiness, it makes up for in disclosure and honesty. It gives us another glimpse behind the KG curtain which was almost entirely off limits until this past season. And even if he lifted the veil only to reveal that there's nothing behind it, it was still pretty cool, and a refreshing deviation from the typical cliches we get from most athletes in every sport.

I have no life at this point. I go home, get treatment, come back in here, study tape, film no life at all. This is what it is.

This is what it is.

This is what it is.

But here's what most of us still want to know:

What exactly is this?

What are we actually seeing?

How do we explain what Kevin Garnett is doing?

It's clear that he's drawn unbelievable inspiration from the haters those who wrote him off as old, over-the-hill and unable to compete at his former Hall of Fame level. But those haters are nothing new. They've existed for years. They or, I should probably say, "we" have questioned his physical limitations since February of 2009. Are we supposed to assume that Garnett wasn't as motivated last year? That the sight of LeBron, Wade and Bosh on the other side of the court wasn't enough for him to reach his max-level of clinically insane motivation?

It's also clear that he's benefited from playing center, but that can only account for so much. Al Horford or Josh Smith? Spencer Hawes or Elton Brand? Is the difference between either of these match-ups actually the difference in KG's ridiculous production? What about the fact that his worst two games of the postseason by far occurred on nights when he was guarding, and being guarded by Jason Collins?

And it's also clear that he's at a level, physically, that he hasn't been in years. That's not to say that he's 100 percent or even close but KG's running, jumping and moving in ways he hasn't since before that aforementioned injury. And he's been doing it for the better part of this season. The same season we all assumed would run him into the ground, render him useless and likely send him into retirement. The same is season that's reeked havoc across the league and worn down many younger, stronger and, we assumed, more physically resilient players. Yet somehow, he's flourished. That alone is almost impossible to fathom. Combine it with everything else, and . . . I don't know.

Maybe it just is what it is. Far be it from a Boston sports fan to ever question that mantra. And really, at this point, why question anything? Why waste a second wondering how this happened, when it's far more satisfying to sit back revel in the fact that it is happening.

And with that, I should probably apologize for 700 words worth of wonder. I probably would have been better off using this space as an opportunity to declare that there's no chance that KG can keep this up. That he's bound to wear down and take the Celtics with him. I could have printed it out, slipped it into his locker during pre-game and watched the Sixers pay the price.

But right now, it really seems like KG is past that.

He's got all the fuel he needs. He's all gassed up. He's locked in.

Game. Home. Treatment. Tape. Film. Game.

Rinse and repeat. And hopefully, until much further notice.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Celtics continue comeback narrative with win vs. Hawks

Celtics continue comeback narrative with win vs. Hawks

The Boston Celtics trail by double digits. The Celtics rally to make it relatively close by halftime. Boston continues to gain ground in the third, pull it out in the fourth.

Rinse. Recycle. Repeat.

That has been the Celtics’ mantra this season, with the latest chapter in their comeback narrative being a 110-99 win at Atlanta.

“We need to put an emphasis on playing with space and getting the ball to the other side of the floor,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “It just stuck too much early on. We were staring at some post-ups that if we got it to the other side, maybe you could take advantage of.”

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Boston (15-2) fell behind by as many as 16 points against the Hawks (3-13), the second straight game the Celtics have rallied from a double-digit deficit.

In Boston’s 92-88 win over Golden State on Thursday, the Celtics fell behind by as many as 17 before rallying for their most impressive win of the season.

That said, it still shouldn’t take away from what happened on Saturday against an Atlanta team that despite their record, has shown signs of playing better in their recent games.

Players are aware of the penchant they’ve shown thus far for falling behind only to mount a furious comeback for the win.

“We don’t try to (go down early),” said Kyrie Irving following Saturday’s win which extended their winning streak to 15 straight which is the fifth-longest streak in franchise history. “Some teams, they go on runs and whether that be us giving up some easy ones or giving up some turnovers or doing things we can correct. When we do correct them, it turns into a different game.”

And that is what makes this stretch of play so impressive.

The Celtics have not played a full game; instead they have had stretches of good play that have often masked their mistakes early in the game.

That’s why head coach Brad Stevens, obviously pleased with the team’s success, knows as well as anyone that his team has to become more consistent in their play if they are to get the most out of these wins and continue to build off of them and achieve their ultimate goal – getting back to the NBA Finals.

“We’re going to keep playing,” Stevens said. “But the biggest thing is, we can’t keep digging these holes.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Stars, studs and duds: No lack of confidence for Brown

Stars, studs and duds: No lack of confidence for Brown

When it comes to the top backcourts in the NBA, you seldom hear about Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown.

That may soon be changing if they have more games like the one they delivered on Saturday as Boston put together a solid second half to pull away from the Atlanta Hawks, 110-99.

Irving had a game-high 30 points which was his second game with at least 30 points scored – both against Atlanta.

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And Brown, who had a strong 22-point performance in Boston’s win over Golden State on Thursday, was even better against the Hawks in tallying a career-high 27 points.

We all know about Irving who has established himself as one of the NBA’s top guards.

But is Brown on the way?

One thing Brown won’t have to develop going forward is, confidence.

He has long maintained that he believes he’ll be among the best in the league. It’s just a matter of him performing at a high level at both ends of the floor, consistently.

“I’ve always had that confidence, I can play with the best in the world,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin following the win over Atlanta which extended Boston’s winning streak to 15 in a row. “It’s just a matter of coming out, doing it. My teammates found me tonight. We had a good team win tonight.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 110-99 win at Atlanta which extended the Celtics’ winning streak to 15 in a row which is the fifth-longest winning streak in franchise history.

 

STARS

Jaylen Brown

Back in his home state of Georgia, Jaylen Brown delivered another monster game for the Celtics by scoring a career-high 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting with four 3-pointers.

Kyrie Irving

Irving had his most efficient game this season for the Celtics, tallying 30 points on 10-for-12 shooting to go with four rebounds and five assists.

Dennis Schroder

Atlanta’s best scorer delivering a strong 23-point, 9-assist performance for the Hawks.

 

STUDS

Jayson Tatum

He only had 14 points, but they all came in the third quarter and they included a few crowd-quieting dunks.

John Collins

He came into the league with the reputation of being a high motor player, and he has not disappointed. His hustle and energy led to him tallying 18 points and seven rebounds.

Marcus Morris

When the offense struggled mightily in the first half, it was Morris’ scoring that kept them within striking distance. He finished with 14 points, 10 of which came in the second quarter.

Kent Bazemore

He was Atlanta’s number two scoring option most of the night, and finished with 19 points.

 

DUDS

Boston’s first quarter defense

The Celtics can’t keep digging themselves these early holes, expecting they will turn it on and find a way to climb out of them. The Hawks led 35-20, fueled in large part by shooting 64.7 percent (11-for-17) in addition to out-rebounding Boston 8-6.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE