By A.Sherrod Blakely
PHILADELPHIA The concept of a more aggressive Kevin Garnett has its merits.
But there's a downside to it, one that we saw first-hand in Wednesday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Looking to score, Garnett kept on firing away as one shot after another rimmed in and out. He finished with 16 points, but missed 15 of his 19 shot attempts.
"Lord knows I missed some shots that I work on every day," Garnett said. "It is what it is."
Said Celtics coach Doc Rivers: "He had a bad night. I knew he was human before the Clippers loss, and it is confirmed. He just had one of those nights."
When you focus as much as Garnett does on his game, it's unlikely that he'll have a similar poor shooting night against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
Although the C's did have a couple days off prior to the Clippers game, Rivers is concerned more about keeping Garnett's minutes in their usual 34-minutes-a-game range.
In Garnett's quest to take some of the scoring pressure off of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, Rivers believes he might have been looking to shoot too much.
"I thought he was pressing at times offensively, which he never does," Rivers said. "I never thought he had balance on his shots. I thought everything was front rim on his shots, which is fatigue. That was tough."
While the Clippers would be more than happy to take the credit for Garnett's shooting woes, they know better.
"Our defense was good, but he's a great shooter and he missed some shots he normally makes," said Clippers star Blake Griffin
Collins in line for coaching accolade
There's more than a month left in the regular season, but it's clear Sixers head coach Doug Collins will get strong consideration for the league's Coach of the Year award.
He took over a team that was just 27-55 last season. This season, they're 33-31 and currently have the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to the Sixers' success this season, including the formation of the South Beach Big Three of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
"It weakened Toronto. It weakened Cleveland," said Collins, referring to the former teams of Bosh and James, respectively. "And LeBron didn't go to a New York or New Jersey that was banking on him coming in and helping turn their franchise around. For us . . . that sort of helps us a bit."
Bench still coming together
Boston is expected to suit up 10 players again on Friday.
Among those 10 players, half were not with the team prior to the Feb. 24 trading deadline.
Not surprisingly, the Celtics have had moments when the team's lack of chemistry has been an issue.
But for the most part, it hasn't been a big enough hurdle to get in the way of winning.
Since the players acquired via the trade arrived in Boston, the C's have been 5-1 in that span.
"It's always difficult because a new team has different things that where you were at in the first place," said newcomer Jeff Green. "But we've got a good group of guys, all close guys who learn quick. We've been getting up to speed with a lot of stuff and catching on quicker than normal so hopefully it continues to go well."