Celtics look to fire up Garnett's post game

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Celtics look to fire up Garnett's post game

BOSTON It was, on paper at least, just another typical Kevin Garnett kind of game.

But Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers knew better.

Most games, Garnett's numbers only tell part of the story in terms of his impact. In the case of Boston's Game 6 loss, numbers explained his lack of impact.

He had 20 points and 11 rebounds, but not a single basket came around the basket.

And Garnett didn't provide much from the free throw line either (he was 2-for-2), which is another barometer of sorts for how successful Garnett is at affecting the game in the post area.

"We never really established Kevin Garnett," Rivers said following the 82-75 loss. "Even though Kevin had points, it wasn't the points we needed, the type of points. So we have to do a better job there (going into Game 7)."

Garnett was 9-for-20 shooting against the Sixers in Game 7, with all nine made baskets coming on jumpers of at least 12 feet away.

The Sixers have tried multiple strategies to limit Garnett's impact in this series.

"They were aggressive," Garnett said. "Multiple players were aggressive. But it's nothing we haven't see in six games."

One of the key players in defending Garnett of late has been Elton Brand, who struggled mightily early on in this series but seems to be getting better as the series goes on.

"He's been playing so great in this series, just try to limit his easy shots," Brand said of Garnett. "Twenty field goal attempts, 20 points, shot-per-point for any guy that shoots a lot during the game, that's what you want."

Philadelphia's defense on Garnett is essentially about pushing him as far off of where he wants to catch the ball in advance of the pass getting to him. From the Sixers' perspective, they hope that will deter him from looking to score around the basket and his teammates from seeking him out in the post.

The Sixers had moderate success on both of those particular fronts in Game 6.

As Game 6 proved, forcing Garnett into being a perimeter scorer is the best way to defeat the Celtics.

There's little doubt that after reviewing video from the Game 6 loss, the C's will look to make some adjustments to their offense.

Ball movement was a major problem, evident by the Celtics tallying just 14 assists -- the fewest they have had in a playoff game this season. Part of the ball movement issue stems from Boston committing a high number of turnovers (17) that led to a significant (19) portion of Philadelphia's offense.

"We'll make some adjustments offensively, and be ready for Game Seven," said Paul Pierce.

Getting the ball to Garnett, in the post more?

Yeah. You can rest assured that will become one of the team's top priorities heading into Saturday's winner-moves-on Game 7 battle with the Sixers.

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

BOSTON -- When it comes to NBA awards and accolades, players in contention often try to play it cool when asked about whether they are deserving.
 
And then there’s Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, who gives a definitive response whenever the question about whether he should be an All-Star starter is raised.
 
We’ll find out later today if Thomas will in fact be named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team when the East and West starters are announced. 
 
“It’s a little bit refreshing in that he is open about it,” Danny Ainge said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show this morning. “But every player wants to be acknowledged by their fan base, by other players in the league, coaches. You come into the league and as a young player you want to earn the respect of your peers and then you want to get paid and then you want to be an All-Star; maybe that’s the wrong order; and then nothing more important than winning.
 
Ainge added, “Isaiah is having a great year. He’s talked a lot about it. At some point in his career, he’ll talk about the most important thing and that’s winning championships.”
 
Ainge pointed to when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were all Celtics, there was no mistaking that winning came before anything else.
 
But where those guys were in their careers in terms of individual achievements and just age, were major factors in their focus being so deeply rooted in winning.
 
“Along the way they all want to win, but when you get to the point where Paul, Ray and KG were in their 30s, they didn’t care about any of that other stuff because they had it all, already,” Ainge said. “They had multiple All-Star games, they had big contracts, winning became the only thing that mattered.”
 
In other Celtics-related news, Ainge said that there’s no timetable for when Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will return to the floor. He has missed five of the last six games with the injury which includes last night’s loss to the New York Knicks which was a game in which the 6-foot-2 Bradley was a last-minute scratch from the lineup