Garnett 'cool' with playing just six minutes in All-Star Game

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Garnett 'cool' with playing just six minutes in All-Star Game

HOUSTON Kevin Garnett played just six minutes for the East in their 143-138 loss to the Western Conference All-Stars - and he could not have been any happier about it.

"Yup. Right where I wanted to be," grinned Garnett as he began to explain his lack of playing time on Sunday.

Prior to the game, Garnett said he had a conversation with Eastern Conference and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra about what his role would be in Sunday's game.

"I just told Erik, it's the young guy's game," Garnett said. "Give me a couple minutes and I was cool. He said alright."

In his six minutes, Garnett was scoreless but did manage to grab three rebounds along with tallying one assist.

Having spent most of the game on the bench, it was indeed an unusual place for Garnett to be for such a long stretch.

And while on the bench, Garnett was seen doing what might seem like the unthinkable - high-fiving Miami's Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as they came to the East bench during time-outs.

Garnett acknowledged how different something like that might be, but added, "We have the same jerseys on for the All-Star Game. When we have opposing jerseys on, then that's obvious. But right now, this is what this weekend is; come in, give your time and there's not too many times where you're going to be interacting like this. It's time to let your hair down and relax."

Garnett said he spent time getting to know a lot of the young All-Stars this week, guys like Indiana's Paul George and Chicago's Luol Deng and Joakim Noah.

"It was good; a good weekend," he said.

Especially for Garnett off the court as he got to spend more time than usual around his family and friends.

"To be honest, what was on my mind this weekend was getting proper rest, enjoying myself, trying to make sure everybody that was with me enjoyed themselves," Garnett said. "I accomplished that. My daughter has never been to a dunk contest or anything like that. Having my kid to see that, that was cool. That was cool for me. And then, just enjoying it; embracing everything that comes with All-Star Weekend."

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

BOSTON – Prior to Saturday’s game, Terry Rozier talked to CSNNE.com about the importance of staying ready always, because “you never know when your name or number is going to be called.”

Like when trailing by three points in the fourth quarter with less than 10 seconds to play?

Yes, Rozier was on the floor in that scenario and the second-year guard delivered when his team needed it.

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But Rozier’s fourth quarter heroics which forced overtime against Portland, did not provide that much-needed jolt that Boston needed as the Blazers managed to fend off the Celtics in overtime, 127-123.

For Rozier’s part, he had 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

The 15 points scored for Rozier was the most for him since he tallied 16 in a 30-point Celtics win at Orlando on Dec. 7.

But more than the points, the decision by head coach Brad Stevens to draw up a play for him in that moment, a time when most of what Boston does revolves around the shooting of Isaiah Thomas who has been among the top-3 scorers in the fourth quarter most of this season, was surprising to many.

And at that point in the game, Thomas already had 13 fourth-quarter points.

Stevens confirmed after the game that the last shot in the fourth was indeed for Rozier, but Thomas’ presence on the floor was important to its execution.

“He (Thomas) also draws a lot of attention,” Stevens said. “So I think you just weigh kind of … what kind of shot you’re going to get, depending on who it is.”

Rozier had initially screened for Thomas, and Thomas came back and screened for him.

“I was open as soon as I caught … and I let it fly,” Rozier said. “Coach drew up a play for me and it felt good to see the ball go in.”

Being on the floor at that time, win or lose, was a victory of sorts for Rozier.

He has seen first-hand how quickly the tide can change in the NBA for a young player.

After a strong summer league showing and a solid training camp, Rozier had earned himself a firm spot in the team’s regular rotation.

But a series of not-so-great games coupled with Gerald Green’s breakout night on Christmas Day, led to his playing time since then becoming more sporadic.

Rozier, in an interview with CSNNE.com, acknowledged it hasn’t been easy going from playing regular minutes to not being sure how much court time, if any, he would receive.

But he says the veterans on the team have been good about keeping his spirits up, and one in particular – Avery Bradley – has been especially helpful.

Like Rozier, Bradley’s first couple of years saw his playing time go from non-existent to inconsistent. But Bradley stayed the course and listened to the team’s veterans who continued to tell him that his hard work would pay off sooner or later.

Those same words of wisdom Bradley received in his early days, he passes on to Rozier.

“It’s big,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “He (Bradley) tells me things like that. I felt I was ready for this (inconsistent minutes) after all that he told me. It’s big to have a guy like him that has been through it all with a championship team, been around this organization for a while; have him talk to you is big. It’s always good. That’s why I stay positive, and be ready.”

Which is part of the reason why Stevens didn’t hesitate to call up a play for the second-year guard despite him being a 33.3 percent shooter from 3-point range this season – that ranks eighth on this team, mind you.

“He’s a really good shooter,” Stevens said of Rozier. “I think with more opportunity that will show itself true, but he made some big ones in the fourth quarter. We went to him a few different times out of time-outs, and felt good about him making that one.”

And to know that Stevens will turn to him not just to spell Thomas or one of the team’s other guards, but to actually make a game-altering play in the final seconds … that’s major.

“It helps tremendously,” said Rozier who added that his confidence is through “the roof. It makes me want to do everything. You know defense, all of that. It’s great, especially to have a guy like Brad trust you."