Kevin Garnett continued his spectacular play, atoned for his Game 2 gaffe, and set the tone with a dominant second quarter as the Boston Celtics rode roughshod over the Philadelphia 76ers, 107-91. And just like that, the Celtics have reclaimed home court advantage. And just like that, the renewed whispers of Boston’s demise seem premature indeed.
Clearly, this was a team effort. Everyone was locked in on both ends of the court, starters and subs alike. But it was Garnett who sent the loudest message, and it is Garnett who continues to play with the sense of urgency that comes from deep within. KG knows this may be his last shot at another championship, at least with him playing a lead role and still possessing an elite all-around game. And he seems determined to put this team on his back and carry it as far as his NBA-weary legs will allow.
As a player, how can you not give your all with Garnett on the court? When he takes full responsibility for the foul that cost his team a shot at winning Game 2? How can you not put it all on the line when this aging warrior is putting it all on the line, on both ends of the court, night-after-night-after-night? Players respond to KG, always have, and tonight was no exception. Rajon Rondo? Sharp, spectacular, in control. Paul Pierce? Determined to overcome the nagging knee injury and help the Big Ticket on every possession. Brandon Bass? Aggressive and active.
I could go on, but you get the point. The Celtics were clearly embarrassed with their performance in Game 2, so there was plenty of motivation to make amends. But Garnett seems to be playing with a controlled rage that has lifted the play of his teammates. Boston has been a different animal since KG’s move to the center position, and he continues to make the doubters look silly with his incredible play.
And by regaining possession of the prized home court advantage, we can once again envision the Celtics advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Could a trip the NBA Finals be in our future?
With KG playing like the monster that he is, anything is indeed possible.