Garnett refused to sit against Bulls

993541.jpg

Garnett refused to sit against Bulls

BOSTON Seeing Kevin Garnett deliver such a strong performance down the stretch would not have come about had Doc Rivers had his wishes.
In fact, Rivers actually gave serious thought to sitting Garnett out for the C's game at Charlotte on Monday.
"I really was mad at myself because I had written down right after the Denver game, 'make him stay in Boston; don't even let him go to Charlotte,'" Rivers said. "And I kind of let everyone talk me into it. I didn't even think he should've played in that game."
The loss at Charlotte came less than 24 hours after the Celtics squeaked out a triple overtime win against Denver, a game in which Garnett played a season-high 47 minutes.
"I thought that three-overtime game, plus that game, flying back, getting in late, I just thought he didn't have legs," Rivers said.
Rivers made a conscious effort to rest Garnett early against the Bulls, evident by him playing just 10 minutes in the first half.
"Fortunately we rested him just enough that he was strong enough down the stretch," Rivers said.
Following the win, Garnett acknowledged that Rivers did give him the option of taking Wednesday's game off.
But as Garnett looked around that injury-riddled locker room, he knew in good conscious that somehow, he had to get on the floor and do whatever he could to help the C's go into the All-Star break with some momentum.
"I've seen everybody playing through everything, and I'm no different than that," Garnett said. "Paul's tired, everybody's tired, and no one's full energy right now, so I felt like that was unfair. If he wasn't going to give everyone the night off, then that wasn't an option. I just came out and gave what I could."
And like many nights during his five-plus seasons in Boston, Garnett's best was good enough for the Celtics to be successful.
"Nobody in this league at this point in the season is playing 100 percent," Garnett said. "Everybody, me included, and guys in this locker room and the other locker room, so just fight all through it and play."
Despite playing just 26 minutes, Garnett still managed to tally 12 points and 11 rebounds for his 15th double-double this season.
Garnett was especially effective in the fourth in which he scored eight points.

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

NEW ORLEANS -- There will be a significant faction of Celtics Nation who will see DeMarcus Cousins’ trade to New Orleans as a lost opportunity for the C's, who could have offered a much more enticing trade package than the one the Sacramento Kings accepted.
 
The Kings received nothing even remotely close to a king’s ransom for Cousins, acquiring him in exchange for rookie Buddy Hield, journeyman Langston Galloway and ex-Pelican Tyreke Evans (who has never been the same since his Rookie of the Year season in 2010), along with a protected first-round pick and a future second-round selection.

RELATED STORIES

While the knee-jerk reaction is to focus on why Boston decided to not pursue a trade for Cousins, more important is what the non-decision means for the moment and going forward.
 
Think about what the Celtics have done in the last three-plus seasons.
 
They went from being a lottery team to one that has the second-best record in the East. They're holding the potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft; at worst, the pick will be in the top four or five. They have three of the most team-friendly contracts (Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder) in the NBA. They have promising prospects overseas as well as in the D-League. And they're led by a coach who has improved his coaching acumen -- and the team’s win total -- every year he's been on the job.
 
And it's all enveloped by a culture with a high level of selflessness, which has created a locker-room environment that has been more about fighting for each other than fighting one another or others off the court.
 
Do you really think Cousins’ talent would have trumped the baggage he'd be bringing to the Celtics if they'd acquired him?
 
For him to have fit in with this team would have required him to make the kind of changes that, frankly, I just don’t see him being capable of making at this point.
 
On more than one occasion, “not fitting in” with the Celtics culture was given to me as the reason why a Cousins-to-Boston trade never gained any traction with the team’s brass. Or coaching staff, for that matter.
 
While there's no denying that he's arguably the best center in the NBA, Cousins is a high-risk, high-reward talent that makes sense to pursue if you're a franchise which has nothing to lose by adding him to the mix. Like, say, New Orleans.
 
The Pelicans are 11th in the Western Conference despite having Anthony Davis, who has been asked to carry the weight of a franchise that has yet to figure out the best combination of talent to surround him with and find success.
 
The addition of Cousins not only provides Davis some major help, but serves as a reminder of just how desperate the Pelicans are.
 
While there are mixed reports on whether the package of assets the Kings agreed to was the best they could have received for Cousins, there was no way they were going to get anything close to comparable talent in exchange for him.
 
And that was solely due to the risk that any team was willing to take on in order to acquire him.
 
At some point, the Celtics need to take advantage of an opportunity to go all-in for a superstar player. But this was not that time, or that player.

Blakely: Pelicans form arguably the best frontcourt with Cousins-Davis

Blakely: Pelicans form arguably the best frontcourt with Cousins-Davis

A. Sherrod Blakely breaks down the DeMarcus Cousins trade to the New Orleans Pelicans