For the Boston Celtics, a lot of good came from last night’s game. Semih Erden emerged as a fan favorite; Shaq looked good in his first Celtics action; Marquis Daniels was active; Stephane Lasme came out of nowhere to provide excitement; and the defense — albeit playing against a team that started both Jodie Meeks and Trent Plaisted — was stifling. One thing that wasn’t quite as good? Kevin Garnett’s performance.
I don’t want to read too far into it, so I’m not going to. I’m not going to say Garnett’s still showing effects of his injury. I’m not going to say he will have another (relatively) down season. Not yet. Not after one unworthy preseason game. Not after 15 minutes and 13 seconds in Manchester, New Hampshire, during a 28-point blowout, against Trent Plaisted, Spencer Hawes and the rest of the NBA’s worst frontcourt.
But pardon me — after Garnett said he was “revived,” after Doc Rivers spoke repeatedly about Garnett’s explosiveness and improved low-post game — if 2 points and 2 rebounds were lower than my expectations. I was hoping to see Garnett sky for alley-oops and harass point guards full court. I was hoping for his patented, unblockable fadeaway jumper, and I was actually hoping that when he shot it, it wouldn’t be an airball. Needless to say, my hopes didn’t come to fruition.
That’s not to say they never will. That’s not to say Kevin Garnett is unimproved. That’s not to say he’ll be unhealthy this year. He just didn’t show us otherwise last night.
Tonight, at 7:00 p.m. against the New Jersey Nets, Garnett will get another chance to prove his revival. While I know that preseason basketball is widely useless, I’d love to see some evidence that Garnett is healthy. And I’d prefer if that evidence was a little more concrete than, “well, he really, really got air that one time he went for a block and missed it.”
Wyc Grousbeck pumped up for this season
Owner Wyc Grousbeck doesn’t mind saying the Celtics should be great this season. (WEEI)
“It’s not only a fun team, it’s fun to beat people senseless,” he said. He must have really loved last night’s waxing.
“I just saw camp, and based on camp, these guys know it’s right in front of them,” Grousbeck continued. “We all want to get back there.” This time, let’s take the championship home. Alright, gentlemen? The whole kit and kaboodle.
And, just for fun, Semih Erden tries out for Dancing With The Turks.