It was impressive. After Michael Finley pulled his back trying to carry luggage, he proved his return to health by carrying his Celtics on that very same back with 11 fourth-quarter points as Boston pulled away from the Toronto Raptors.
Finley’s near bout with injury, saved only by trainer Ed Lacerte’s “magic hands,” revealed Finley’s age. But his fourth-quarter outburst in Toronto and ever-solid play since he became a Celtic revealed something else, something once provided by P.J. Brown. Veteranism, of course. (Boston Globe)
Said Pierce: “What [both Finley and Brown] bring is veteranism off the bench, experience. Mike’s been in big games. He’s won a championship. A guy who is going to be poised down the stretch.’’
Kevin Garnett expanded on what makes Finley so veteranistic.
“His maturity, his veteran presence,’’ Kevin Garnett said when asked to compare Finley and Brown. “The voice, the mind. Obviously, the experience. Very very similar. When P.J. came in, he let it known since Day 1 that this was going to be his position and he stood on that and everybody respect it. Same thing with Mike. He’s fit right in with us. He’s very solid, has a voice. He speaks.’’
Finley embraced the comparison to Brown, but didn’t mention veteranism. Not even once. (Boston Herald)
“If the results are the same, that would be nice,” Finley said of the 2008 title. “When I did meet (Brown) and talk, I found he was a good guy, one of the good guys of the league. I know what I can bring to the table, more than just being a player on the court. I also want to bring a sense of calmness to the team, which they need. A different voice is always good. Each day I get to play with these guys, and in practice situations I feel more comfortable. The last couple of games I played more with the starters, so I was able to get more comfortable with them, and get into a nice rhythm going into the playoffs.
“It’s not about just hitting the shot. It’s about playing the game I truly love, and as long as the desire is there to play, and to work out, and to do all of the little things to be a basketball player, as long as that’s there I’ll continue to play and when it’s not, that’s when I’ll walk away.”
For now, Finley won’t be going any walking away from the NBA. Because, while Kevin Garnett said Finley speaks, Finley isn’t the only thing speaking. His game is, too.