It wasn’t just the fact that Kevin Garnett drained a three-pointer last night, which he rarely ever does, just 170 times now in his 16-year career. It was that he caught a pass in perfect rhythm with 16 seconds left on the shot clock, set his feet like a consistent long-range bomber would, and swished a shot from the wing that never had a chance of missing.
“Just to let y’all know, I do have that. Don’t get it twisted. I do have that,” he told reporters after the game.
I’ve always been curious about why Garnett — who shoots plenty of shots between 16-23 feet, with great accuracy — never stepped his range back one step, so that his long jumpers would register three points rather than two. Garnett has made at least 44 percent of his 16-23 foot jumpers each year since being traded to the Celtics, but apparently never thought it would be wise to expand his offensive repertoire to the area beyond the arc — or never thought he was proficient enough to do so.
“I don’t want to become the Rasheed Wallace of the league. We got enough guys around here that shoot threes,” Garnett said last night, according to A. Sherrod Blakely.
The Celtics, in Garnett’s defense, are tops in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage, connecting on 42.7 percent of all trifectas (a number largely aided by Ray Allen’s obscene 56.6 percent on more than two made threes per game). But Boston is only in the middle of the pack in three-pointers made per game, supplying evidence that perhaps the C’s could use another perimeter threat.
Plus, three points are better than two. And Garnett’s shots often need just one normal step back to qualify for an extra point.
“I don’t want to get comfortable with [shooting threes],” Garnett said after the game.
But if three-pointers are in his repertoire, like he claims, it begs the question: