After all the positives to have occurred so far during the Miami Heat series, the following is the best news yet. (Boston Globe)
Garnett’s 37 minutes were not only the most he’s played all postseason, but his highest total of the season. Recovering from the knee injury that ended his 2008-09 campaign, Garnett’s minutes were capped at 35 this regular season.
“We extended Kevin’s minutes, we had to,’’ Rivers said. “I had to sub him for that little stretch, and it hurt us.’’
Garnett was on the bench to start the fourth quarter, the Celtics leading, 77-71, and returned with 9:13 remaining, by which time the Heat were ahead, 85-80.
Of course, that the Heat went on such a run when KG was down had little to with Garnett sitting and a lot to do with Dwyane Wade catching fire. Still, even after the Garnett-less Game Two walloping, it’s undeniable the Celtics are a better basketball team when Garnett is on the floor.
Garnett is now averaging 16.3 ppg and 9.0 rpg in the postseason, after 14.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg in the regular season. His playing time has increased from 29.9 mpg to 35.3 mpg.
At the same time as Garnett has played more minutes, Rasheed Wallace’s minutes are dwindling. He played 22.5 mpg in the regular season, and is down to 14.0 mpg in the playoffs. The self-proclaimed Mr. Playoffs has become Mr. Pine. (To his credit, he has said he doesn’t care about minutes so long as the Celtics win.)
This isn’t exactly an advanced basketball equation here, and it certainly isn’t earth-shattering, but…
More KG + Less Sheed = Very Good.