NBA Roundtable

Link: Article on Garnett

In Great Article on April 17, 2010 at 10:12 am

Very good article by Jackie MacMullan in the Boston Globe today on Kevin Garnett

NBA observers point to the March 7 game against Washington, when young Andray Blatche dropped 23 points on KG, as evidence his dominant days are behind him.

“I watched and said, ‘Oh, man, he’s done,’ ’’ said Detroit assistant Darrell Walker. “The things Blatche did to him . . . dunking on him like that. If KG was right, it would never happen.

“I was there for the final days of Michael Jordan. This reminds me of that — exactly. Michael was one of the most competitive people ever. KG, too. But when you don’t have the same explosiveness anymore, it’s over.

“You can still get it done every once in a while, but every night? It just doesn’t happen. Even mentally tough guys like MJ and KG can’t get past it. It’s why players retire. It gets too hard.’’

In that March 7 game, Wizards players revealed, coach Flip Saunders (who was with Garnett for 10 seasons in Minnesota) instructed them to attack Garnett, force him to guard them one-on-one instead of allowing him to flourish in the “help defense’’ mode.

The coaches also urged JaVale McGee to block Garnett’s first shot, even if it meant a goaltending call, because in KG’s current mental state, they surmised, he would subsequently alter his shot (Garnett finished 0 for 7 from the floor).

The Injury

The onerous bone spur, the size of Garnett’s considerably large thumb, did not lodge itself into the tendon in the back of his knee overnight. It became more invasive as the days dragged on last season.

“It felt like a rug burn,’’ Garnett explained, “only there was a sharp edge to it, and every time I bent my knee or extended it, there was this pain. I thought I could grit through it. But it was excruciating.’’

As the playoffs approached, team doctors recommended anti-inflammatory medication and cortisone injections. KG was adamant: no drugs. An operation, he informed them, was a last resort. In high school, he chose not to surgically repair a meniscus tear on the same leg.

“They told me when I first got this injury it would take a year,’’ Garnett said. “I’ll be very candid with you. I didn’t believe them.’’

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