C's have to get better when KG's off the floor

C's have to get better when KG's off the floor
November 10, 2012, 5:10 am
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BOSTON When it comes to putting a value on what Kevin Garnett means to the Boston Celtics, arriving at an actual figure is difficult.

But therein lies the answer as team after team do just that - put up big numbers offensively - seemingly every time Garnett walks off the floor to take a break.

And those momentary breaks have led to a slew of breakdowns defensively by the Celtics who suffered yet another setback in losing 106-100 to Philadelphia.

"The thing that's hurting us is when Kevin goes off the floor," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers after the C's drop to 2-3 this season. "It happened again tonight."

In the first quarter, Garnett helped the Celtics race out to an 8-5 lead before heading to the bench with 7:56 to play in the quarter.

By the time he returned at the 1:56 mark of the first, the C's were down 19-14 before the quarter ended with the Sixers ahead, 23-20.

Whatever momentum Boston had established to start the game, all but dissipated the moment Rivers kicked in the '5-5-5' plan for distributing Garnett's minutes.

Rajon Rondo described the time that Garnett is off the floor as "chaos."

"Nothing's happening right," Rondo said when asked what happens when Garnett leaves the court. "Just chaos. We have to do a better job when Kevin's not on the floor."

Rondo added, "The plusminuses with him on the floor, they showed it during the playoffs last year, and it's carrying over. When Kevin goes out, things change, teams go on a run for some reason."

A change has to come for Boston, obviously.

But whatever that change is, it won't involve Garnett's minutes increasing significantly.

Short of cloning Garnett, the next best thing is for him to dole out any advice, tidbits, etc. to his teammates who step on the floor when he sits.

"The things I know have been over the course of a couple decades," said Garnett, now in his 18th NBA season. "I've understood how to play this game, how to play my role. At this point in my career ... a lot of things, it's just how hard I'm doing it."

No one expects the players who come in for Garnett to deliver the way he does.

But the C's have to find a happy medium between what he brings, and what they're doing now when he's off the floor - which unfortunately for the C's, isn't much.

"We have to take the challenge as a team and try and find a way to stop those type of runs when he does go out of the game," Rondo said. "Because he's going to come out."

Rondo added, "but we're not panicking. We got the right guys. We got the right mindset. It's just a matter of doing it."