Despite the age of the great Kevin Garnett, the NBA 2012/13 season saw yet another solid season from The Big Ticket, notching his 15th All Star appearance in the process. His numbers have been consistent since his move to Boston in 2007, this year posting averages of 14.8 PPG and 7.8 RPG across 68 games, while playing fewer minutes than any of his earlier seasons in green.
It has been well established that KG is one of the best defenders in the game, even at 37 years of age. A Plus/Minus rating of +80 with Garnett on the floor for the season illustrated his ability to anchor the defense, constantly barking at his teammates to stay focused and deny their opponents easy looks at the rim.
In the Celtics’ brief post-season appearance, Garnett’s rebounding in the playoffs was huge for a team that struggled against New York for the most part. With an average of 13.7 RPG across 6 games, Garnett gobbled up rebounds like there was no tomorrow, playing with that trademark intensity we all know he possesses. Simply put, he was “out there scrappin’” for his team.
As with any season, there are ups and inevitably, downs. Garnett made All-Star team honours at the All-Star Weekend, but was struck with nagging ankle and foot injuries soon after. When Doc Rivers labelled his injury as a bone spur, the month of March was tough for Garnett, the team and the fans alike. It became obvious just how badly Garnett was required for Boston to have any hope of a deep post-season run.
The injuries hampered Garnett for longer than many realised, as he posted his lowest Field Goal Percentage (FG%) of any season with the Celtics. A recurring theme for the season: Doc’s concerns about not giving Garnett enough touches in the post. KG’s dependable mid-range jump shots also lost some of their effectiveness this year. While injuries were a factor, these problems could also have been attributed to the absence of our star point guard in Rajon Rondo.
Despite the knock on Garnett’s “advanced” age, he proved once again this season that he is still a vital cog in the Celtic Machine. With his presence on the floor, the Celtics were still a force when KG was on the court. However, his absence was noticed defensively whenever Doc gave him a breather, proving what many fans already knew – Garnett needs help.
With no decline in his defensive game and only a minor drop in offense, Garnett is still one of the Celtics’ most important players, which is why he must return for the 2013/14 season regardless of Paul Pierce’s situation. Perhaps some help from an old friend in Al Jefferson could be what the Doc ordered.
As Kevin Garnett himself would say: Get your hard hat on, it’s time to work!
What did you think of The Big Ticket’s performance this season? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop a comment and let us know.