During the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinal against the 76ers, Boston Celtics forward-center Kevin Garnett, who turns 36 on May 19, has looked like the KG of old.
Garnett doesn't log the minutes he once did in his younger days, but in the two games he is averaging 22 points and 11.5 rebounds.
After exploding for 29 points and 11 rebounds in the Celtics Game 1 win, Garnett scored 15 points while adding 12 rebounds in Game 2. More telling, he only took 12 shots in the Sixers 92-91 win in Game 2, making seven.
"If you can disrupt a little of the rhythm that they shoot, make them feel like a guy is coming at him so he doesn't catch a ball in rhythm because he is making 80 percent of his open shots," Sixers coach Doug Collins said about Garnett following this morning's shootaround.
In the two games, Garnett is shooting 19 for 32 from the field.
So Collins will look to give Garnett multiple defensive looks.
"You have to mix it up a little, put different kind of guys on him," Collins said. "Maybe somebody with size one time, maybe strength another time, and you just hope that you can make him work for every score."
The key for Boston will be for Garnett to take more than the 12 shots he launched in Game 2.
"I don't care if he doesn't get shots, but he has to get touches," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before the Celtics shootaround. "If he gets shots and they trap somebody else is going to get shots. If he gets touches and they don't trap then he gets shots, but he has to get touches."
Rivers said the touches were there in Game 2, but they came too late.
"He ended with 18 which is a lot of touches but 13 were in the third and fourth quarter," Rivers said. "To me that is too late."