He’s old. He’s tired. He’s hurt. He’s got more miles on him than Al Gore’s Gulfstream. He’s Willis Reed. He’s Willie Mays, circa 1973. He’s David Ortiz [stats], circa six weeks ago. He’s playing in slow motion, with his brilliant NBA career flashing before his eyes and the Eagles’ “Desperado” playing softly in the background.
These days it is nearly as painful to watch Kevin Garnett as it is to be Kevin Garnett. Theories are flying from all directions, none of them good. He appears to have a problem with his right knee and perhaps an issue with his left shoulder, and he’ll probably come away with a mild concussion when he slams his head into the stanchion just before tipoff tonight.
“Time passes and we all suffer it one way or another,” said the Lakers’ Pau Gasol, sounding like a member of the Washington press corps talking about that nasty old hag Helen Thomas.
It is a fact of life in sports that every player loses it sometime, and for Garnett that dreaded moment may have arrived between Game 6 in Orlando and Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Los Angeles. One day he was smothering the life out of poor Rashard Lewis, the next he looked like a slow-footed camper at the Pau Gasol Basketball School.
One day, the mangy Lakers’ big man hated him, the next day it got worse. Old pal Pau felt sorry for him.
So how did it go in Game 2 for Garnett? Worse than Game 1. Because of foul trouble, Garnett played just 24 minutes. He had six points, six boards, no blocks and no answer for Gasol, who had 24 and 8. The Lakers’ starting frontcourt outscored the Celts’, 52-28, leaving C’s fans to wonder: Can their backcourt win the championship without any help from the big guys up front?
The series is tied 1-1. Garnett has four games to come to the party. It says here he will.