Garnett comes back down to earth in loss to Sixers


Garnett comes back down to earth in loss to Sixers

PHILADELPHIA Kevin Garnett once again had a major impact on the game but not the kind of impact he's used to.

The Boston Celtics' most dominant player in this series, Garnett, was nothing of the sort Friday night - a first for him in this series.

And the end result was a 92-93 loss to Philadelphia that now puts this best-of-seven series at 2-2, with Game 5 in Boston on Monday and Game 6 in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Garnett had just nine points, his lowest-scoring game in this series. And he did it on 3-for-12 shooting (25 percent) which equalled his worst field goal percentage in a playoff game in which he took 12 or more field goal attempts. He came into the game having shot 63.3 percent in this series.

It was an inexplicable performance which in many ways, summed up what kind of night it was for the Celtics as a whole.

When asked about why Garnett never really got into the offense, C's coach Doc Rivers said, "I don't know. I'm going to have to go look at that and figure that myself."

Said Garnett: "They tended to be a little bit more aggressive, and they were getting the whistle."

The Sixers were whistled for 18 personal fouls compared to the Celtics being called for 28 personal fouls. That led to a huge discrepancy in free throws, with the C's shooting 16-for-19 from the line compared to the Sixers who were 25-for 36.

Still, Philadelphia's aggressive play only told part of the tale as to why Garnett's impact was so minimal.

The Celtics relied on their jump-shots far too often in the second half.

"We're a jump-shooting team," said Rajon Rondo who had 15 points and 15 assists. "We made those shots in the first half. We made those shots in Game 3. But (in Game 4), like I said, they sped us up a little bit. We may have lost our composure, but we're a veteran team. We're better than that, but we didn't respond well."

Said Rivers: "I never thought we established him. I thought he was a passer tonight. We have to get him back in the middle of the paint and being more aggressive. That's on us; we have to figure that out again."

At this stage of the playoffs, there's not going to be a major overhaul by the Celtics or anything like that in order to get Garnett back on track.

Garnett, in succinct Garnett-fashion, was asked about Game 5 and what he's looking forward to heading into that game.

"Making adjustments," he said. "And getting better."

Celtics sign former Laker second-rounder Ryan Kelly

Celtics sign former Laker second-rounder Ryan Kelly

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics made one more roster move on Friday, but not the one many were anticipating.

Instead of trimming the training camp roster down to 15 players, the Celtics expanded it by signing Ryan Kelly.

The 6-foot-11 forward appeared in six games for the Atlanta Hawks during the preseason, averaging 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

A former second round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013, Kelly has appeared in 147 games with career averages of 6.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

Boston already has a stacked roster at the power forward/center position, which is why they decided to waive second round pick and former Providence College star Ben Bentil earlier on Friday.

The addition of Kelly, on the surface at least, doesn't make a lot of sense.

But the Celtics are trying to build a team for the present while keeping an eye on the future.

When the Celtics waived Bentil, they did so with the knowledge that he was unlikely to sign with their Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

But with Kelly, the veteran big man will likely wind up with the Red Claws which will allow the Celtics to get a closer look at him without impacting their roster status which is currently at 16, one above the league-maximum.

The final roster spot will come down to James Young and R.J. Hunter. The Celtics have until 5 p.m. Monday to make a decision, a decision that team officials have repeatedly said in recent days will come down to the wire.