Clipped in LA; KG the Answer?
Posted by r1zzo23 on February 26, 2009
Post from February 26, 2009…
Last night, the Celtics sleep-walked into the Staples Center. Half the time, the court is dawned in the glorious purple and gold of the Lakers. But this trip, the red and blue of the Clippers were out, along with some Hollywood stars. These stars are usually at the Lakers game, but this night, they came to see the Celtics play. Unfortunately, the Green didn’t put on any performance worth watching.
Watching the pre-game show on FSN New England, Donny Marshall pointed out a great point that couldn’t be stressed enough: do not just show up to play! The Celtics needed to grind out another game and just give three more hours of their best basketball before they could return home. Doc agreed with Donny, but he doesn’t play point guard in the league any more. Ultimately, it was up to Rondo to push the tempo last night, and that didn’t happen.
The Celtics allowed the Clippers to not only hang around, but to lead for a lot of the game. This is where the, in my opinion, the absence of Kevin Garnett was detrimental to the team. After being on the road since the All-Star Game, the team was tired and just wanted to get home. Plus, it’s easy to look at the schedule, see the Clippers and then take it easier than you would most other teams. If KG were on the court, I don’t think he would have allowed that to happen. I don’t think he would have allowed Zach Randolph to go for 30 against arguably the best defenses in the league. The energy would have been there right from the opening tip and the Celtics wouldn’t have gotten fooled into playing at the Clippers’ pace.
Thing is, Kevin Garnett wasn’t available and the Celtics did sleep walk into and out of last night’s game, with a loss no less. Celtics need to beat the Clippers, even without Kevin Garnett, if they want to claim the coveted #1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs this season. Hopefully, thi slip up won’t happen again for the rest of this season.