Home Crowd Thinks Garnett is the MVP
The sound chamber was locked.
Before last night's plunge to defeat, while the crowd still was swaying to the prolonged wave that Kevin Garnett gave them from mid-court early in the fourth quarter, emotion got the better of everyone.
The first loud ``MVP'' chant of the season started while Garnett was at the free throw line with 3:29 left and the Celtics leading by nine points. He hit both.
As for the chant, well, maybe Washington's Caron Butler, judging from his crunch time explosion in last night's 88-83 win over the Celtics, thought the love was for him.
``MVP?'' Garnett later said quizzically, repeating the question. ``A chant?''
Garnett looked over at teammate Paul Pierce and received a shrug.
``Not even on my mind now,'' he said when informed of what the crowd said. ``I just have my mind on this team and trying to get it back on track, to be honest with you.''
Like everyone else, Garnett left the floor for good with a tight grimace, as if he were trying to keep all of that emotion inside. As the man at the center of this team's intensity, that's a lot of feeling to bottle up.
But nothing - not the chants, or the 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists - is going to distract him from the next task.
His team, still with an NBA-best 30-6 record, suddenly needs some fixing.
``It is what it is,'' he said of the Celtics' relatively tough January. ``Everybody in the league is going to go through the same thing, so we are not bitching and moaning about none of that.''
Garnett said this like a father scolding his children.
``It's on the schedule. We're gonna deal with it, just like everybody else has to deal with it, and we are no different from that,'' he said. ``I think when you look at earlier tapes of ourselves we had a lot more spunk and energy. It's just a matter of refocusing and getting back on that right track. It's easier said than done. It's not something that you can go to sleep and wake up and it's (fixed). It's going to take some effort and some work, and that's what we plan on doing.
``Tomorrow is a practice day, a day to look at some film and fix some things and get ready for Portland.'' Garnett then said something that proves he's completely over the top: ``Thank God for film days.''
In other words don't worry. This team is in the right hands.