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


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

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."

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.