The so-called 5-5-5 plan (playing three five-minute stretches in each half) that Doc Rivers tailored for Kevin Garnett last season had an interesting reworking last night.
The Celtics center, who had said his 15th All-Star appearance would also be his last, went 6-0-0-0 last night, as in the first six minutes of the game. Garnett spent the rest of the night in M.L. Carr mode, waving his towel, slapping backs, cheering on the Eastern Conference players he normally refuses to talk to.
And perhaps, with a five-game Western road trip kicking off tomorrow night in Denver, he even recharged this weekend. But considering that his family was on hand for the entire experience, probably not so much. Houston on All-Star weekend is not a spa or a retreat.
“Absolutely not,” Garnett said with a laugh when asked if he had a restful weekend. “I would love to say that, but absolutely not. But it was cool to sit back and interact.”
Just to make sure, Garnett laid out his preferences to Eastern Conference/Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
“I told Erik that it was about the young guys, a young guys’ game,” said Garnett. “Put me in for a couple of minutes and then I was cool.”
So Spoelstra pulled Garnett after the first six minutes, when the game was still progressing at quarter speed.
Even in that relaxed environment Garnett was able to produce a little of everything. He missed his only two shots — both jumpers, unsurprisingly — and was the leading rebounder in the game with three at the time he departed. He also picked up an assist.
Beyond that, he was the guy who was just happy to be there. That phrase has probably never described Garnett in a game of any sort up until last night.
“(The minutes) were right where I wanted it to be,” he said. “I told y’all it was cool. I had a good time, kind of let my guard down and got to know some of the new guys like PG (Paul George) and Joakim (Noah), Luol Deng. It was cool.”
Relaxed KG soaks it in
Boston Herald | Feb 18