Garnett To The Rescue


I was sitting at the local pub surrounded by people who were watching basketball but knew nothing about basketball. You know the type of people I'm talking about; they make a comment like "It's a team game Kobe!" and "Why isn't he shooting more threes?" They obviously like to try and sound as if they are experts on the game, but clearly have no clue. However, there are moments in basketball when even uneducated morons such as these realise a momentum building play.

It was the fourth quarter of game 1of the NBA finals. L.A. was down and looked like they were about to start a run against a fragile Boston team. Boston was in posession and Ray Allen threw his 14th bad pass for the quarter. It missed everyone and was about to bounce back over halfway. Everyone in the entire world thought it was about to be a backcourt violation, and the Lakers would have posession. There was something none of us were counting on though.

Kevin Garnett.

Such was Garnett's desire to regain posession, he made a chase for the ball. Nobody else on the court would have chased that ball. It's likely that nobody else on the planet would have chased that ball. Yet the competitive fire that drives Garnett to basically explode each game kicked into 7017th gear. He put his head down and leaped into the air. For a moment he seemed to hang there while everyone held their collective breaths. Gradually he caught the ball and literally milimetres from the floor, he hurled the ball back over halfway.

Most of the Lakers were caught by surprise. Sasha Vujacic (the most annoying player in Lakers history) had even headed to the sideline ready to inbound the ball. Yet somehow, some way... Boston had posession again. This was the moment that the Lakers offically died in game 1. Everyone around me had the same reacton.

"How the hell did he do that???"

None of us really knew. The only thing we did know, is that Boston wanted it more. For that one moment defined the first two games of this series: Boston was hungrier. Kevin Garnett has this team so pumped up, so intent on winning and so desperate not to lose, it's almost inspiring.

The biggest recipient of this competitive fire in game 2 was Leon Powe. Where the hell did HE come from??? Somehow this Nuggets discard shot more free throws than the entire Lakers team. Somehow he went coast to coast and dunked on Gasol's face. Somehow he he had dunks left, right and centre and was the single most popular man in Boston for a good 21 minutes. He's the guy that appeared from nowhere to dominate.

Frankly, I'm not a Celtics fan. I despise James Posey. I despise Doc Rivers. I'm uncertain if Sam Cassell is even from this galaxy. Yet you've got to admire them. They've shown so far that the team who wants it more, will win.

So the question becomes, what can the Lakers do? They are getting killed by the refs (the officiating in game 2 was an absolute disgrace - illustrated by a 38 - 10 free throw advantage), they are getting blown away on the boards, their bench has all but disappeared, and Radmanovic should be exiled to Siberia. As my friend Steve said, "He can't even catch a rebound when it hits his chest." However, they have one last ray of hope.


He got ZERO love from the refs in games 1 and 2. He got hacked. He got called for the softest fouls in the history of basketball. He received a technical foul for goodness knows what. He didn't look like himself. It was the equivalent of seeing Jennifer Hawkins frowning, or Julia Gillard saying something intelligent; very out of character.

However, did anyone else see the look on his face in the 4th quarter? He looked mean. He looked angry. This bodes fantastically for game 3 in Los Angeles. However, it could break one of two ways for the Lakers.

It could mean that Kobe comes out and drops 50 on the Celtics and suddenly we have a series on our hands. Conversely, it could also mean that Kobe launches on of his famed 'all about me' games and shoots 9 of 30 and the Lakers get smashed. Which Kobe will we see? Who knows? All I know is that the Celtics will be fiery thanks to Garnett. Will the Lakers be fiery?

Only time will tell.

My game 3 prediction: Lakers by 14.

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Garnett Fires Up
KG is the most excitable
athlete on the planet.

Sasha Vujacic is always a likely
candidate to be punched in the face

You can always count on Jennifer Hawkins
flashing a classy smile