Garnett proving age is just a number this season

Garnett proving age is just a number this season
February 29, 2012, 4:44 am
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CLEVELAND Kevin Garnett had 18 points. He grabbed eight rebounds. He made all eight of his free throw attempts.

Even with the stats, they only provide a glimpse into how important Garnett was in Boston's 86-83 win.

"He was our anchor," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "He's just been so solid for us."

For the Celtics, a team that has been anything but solid this season, Garnett's steady play has been instrumental in this team's drop-off not being any steeper.

But Garnett's contributions go much deeper than what we saw on Tuesday, or what we've seen from him this season.

"You never seen somebody play the amount of minutes and the amount of years and still have the most energy on the court, either team," Celtics guard Keyon Dooling told "Everybody want to harp on the age and things like that, but look at him? The motor he brings everyday, you got guys 21 years old who can't bring that amount of energy every night."

But as Garnett gets older, Celtics coach Doc Rivers monitors his minutes even closer - even in practice.

Rivers went pretty hard on the guys in practice on Monday, and wasn't sure what he would get from Garnett.

"He came back and was absolutely wonderful," Rivers said.

Especially of late on offense.

And while some see Garnett as having opened the second half of the season up by stepping up his play, those who have played with him all season see him as doing nothing on Tuesday that he hasn't been doing most of this season.

"He's been the model of consistency for us throughout the whole year," said Paul Pierce.

However, Pierce said the C's are making a point of getting him the ball more on the post, which opens things up for not just him - but for the entire Celtics team.

"We're getting him the ball more, and that's the key," Pierce added. "When he's playing well, we're tough to beat."

Garnett was pleased that the Celtics got the win.

But he by no means was satisfied with the C's performance which all would agree, has to be better - much better - moving forward.

"This is going to be a grind right here, a true grind," Garnett said, referring to the second half of the season. "Physically, but mentally we have to be into it and prepare and just be ready to hoop."