Garnett gets aggressive, scores vs. Pacers

642072.jpg

Garnett gets aggressive, scores vs. Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS One of the things that has made Kevin Garnett such a great player for so many years, has been his selfless approach to the game.

But looking to help his teammates isn't always the best thing for the team.

Balancing that eye for getting others involved while getting his game going is something Garnett admits he has struggled with this season.

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers' incessant nagging of Garnett to be more aggressive offensively seemed to have finally sunk through as Garnett had a season-high 21 points in Boston's 97-83 loss at Indiana.

The scoring was impressive, but Rivers was even more pleased that most of Garnett's points came around the basket as he frequently jostled for the best inside position.

"We established a post game, finally, after whatever amount of games we played. So I was happy with that," Rivers said.

Garnett had 13 of his 21 points in the first half, which ended with the Celtics trailing by eight points.

Turnovers certainly factored in Boston's second-half struggles. After committing seven turnovers in the first half, the C's coughed the ball up 11 times in the second.

But just as significant was the fact that the ball didn't go into the post as much to Garnett as it did in the first half.

"We got away from it," Rivers said. "Third quarter, we shot a lot of jump-shots. I told them before the game, back-to-back nights is not a jump-shot night. Everything is going to be front of the rim."

And Garnett isn't the type to demand the ball, regardless of whether he's having a good night shooting the ball.

That's where Rivers and his incessant demands for Garnett to think more like a scorer, come into play.

"People that know me, my personal friends that know me, my basketball game is very similar to how I am in life," Garnett said. "I'm a giver first. I like to make sure everything around me is comfortable. That's no different from basketball. Here, I look to get Ray (Allen) and Paul (Pierce), those guys open. So I need coaches every now and then just to tell me, 'Hey, look for your own every now and then.' ''