After surveying the Celtics-Pistons post-game commentary, I return to my own observation, penned immediately after the game, namely that KG is in Cedric-Maxwell mode--Climb on my Back, Fellas, cuz I'm drivin'.
The Ticket started the Pistons game with his foot to the floor, and never let up until victory was in hand. We all know how competitive KG is. We all know he wants a championship. And we all know he can be selfless to a fault, all for the good of the team, as even a writer from the Philippines notes.
Still, I have to believe there is also something else in play here.
Over the last two weeks everyone from television, radio, and print commentators to coaches such as Flip Saunders have echoed the same sentiments: KG was the MVP favorite until he got injured. Now he's a good distance behind Kobe and LeBron, and since Kobe and LeBron score 40 to 50 points per game, KG has no hope of catching up.
We shall see.
I am not suggesting that KG will become more selfish or numbers hungry. What I am suggesting is that KG has not put his vehicle into fifth gear much this year. Early in the season when he was averaging 15 or 16 rebounds a game, we saw KG at full tilt. The result? Celtic wins with a margin of victory exceeding 20.
I still think the win over the Lakers was his most dominant performance, and so does NBA video, as it remains the only video this season where every highlight from the game is of one player.
I'm sure all this talk of him falling out of the MVP discussion has rankled his pride, especially the comments of his former coach. The problem for opponents is that when KG elevates his game, the entire team gets better. It's not just an exercise in posting 30 points and 20 rebounds. It's personal.
And when things get personal with KG, it gets ugly for opponents.
If he stays healthy, I fully expect the Cs to ride this wave of Garnett drive and determination to banner 17.