The age of Garnett is noteworthy

755818.jpg

The age of Garnett is noteworthy

Shhh. Don't bring it up to Kevin Garnett, but he turns 36 on Saturday.
Why the hush-hushness of his birthday?
Garnett is tired of hearing about his age. He doesnt let his years define him on the court, and he doesnt want others to either.
The big man is averaging 20.3 points and 11.0 rebounds per game this postseason. In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, Garnett posted 27 points and 13 rebounds, his fourth consecutive double-double and seventh of the playoffs.
He isnt surprised by his performance, and doesnt really appreciate those who doubted he was capable of it in the first place.
I take this very seriously, Garnett said last week following the Celtics' Game 6 elimination of the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. So you guys calling me old, that number just fuels the fire. You all have no idea what you are doing when you do that. So I appreciate you all. Whoevers writing the old comments and all that, keep doing that. I appreciate that. I dont read your columns, but it gets back to me. All right?
The fact of the matter is, though, playing at such a high level at this point in his career is noteworthy. Not because it was improbable, but because such a small number of players continue to do so when they are turning 36 and in their 17th year in the NBA.
Garnett was one of 12 players born in 1976 to play in the NBA this season. Tony Battie, Chauncey Billups, Tim Duncan, Brian Skinner, Earl Boykins, Brad Miller, Antawn Jamison, Andre Miller, Eduardo Najera, Raja Bell, and Francisco Elson are the others. Garnett is younger than Battie, Elson, Andre Miller, Brad Miller, and Duncan.
Garnett was the first player born in 1976 to be drafted. He entered the NBA in 1996, the only member of his draft class born that year. As a result, he leads all players born the same year in minutes played. (His 45,779 minutes are over 6,000 more than those of Duncan.) Garnett ranks second among all active players in minutes played behind only Jason Kidd.
There are only three players older than Garnett still playing at this point in the postseason -- Juwan Howard (39), Derek Fisher (37), and teammate Ray Allen (36).
Garnett ranks 9th overall in postseason scoring (20.3ppg). He is the oldest of the top 23 scorers. Duncan, one month is senior, is ranked 24th.
See how Garnetts postseason stat line (17th season, 20.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists) compares to how Hall of Fame big men performed in the playoffs at age 35:
Charles Barkley (15th season): 23.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists
Karl Malone (14th season): 21.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists
Kevin McHale (13th season): 19.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists
Hakeem Olajuwon (14th season): 20.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists
Garnett is 1-0 on his birthday. He played on his 28th birthday (May 19, 2004), Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings. He celebrated the day with a 32-point, 21-rebound double-double en route to the Timberwolves 83-80 elimination victory.
Garnett shares a May 19 birthday with Dolph Schayes, Bill Laimbeer, Mario Chalmers, Richard Dumas, Butch Feher, Hamed Haddadi, Brian Skinner, and Michael Smith.

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”