Garnett embracing his new teammates


Garnett embracing his new teammates

By A.Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON Like most NBA veterans, Kevin Garnett is a creature of habit.

So when his routine is thrown off, he's not going to be happy.

But Garnett is no dummy.

He understands that no matter how much he may want things to stay as they are, change is inevitable.

A delayed flight or a traffic jam, that's one thing.

Trading away Kendrick Perkins, that's an entirely different matter.

While it may not have been the change Garnett wanted, slowly but surely he has come to terms with the move.

"It's been a crazy week. People don't really think about the emotions, the connections you make in this game and the friends you make on the way in this journey when you're in the league," Garnett said. "It's difficult at times, to be honest with you."

But the play and personas of a pair of new Celtics, Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, have made the transition smoother. Garnett's next challenge will be getting used to playing with Troy Murphy, who on Tuesday agreed to sign with the Celtics over the Miami Heat. A deal isn't expected to be finalized until sometime on Wednesday.

As for Green and Krstic, both acquired on Thursday from Oklahoma City in exchange for Perkins and Nate Robinson, the C's have won both games since they joined the team prior to Saturday's win at the Los Angeles Clippers.

Green, the centerpiece acquisition for the Celtics, has shown glimpses of the versatility that made him a player the C's coveted well before Thursday's trade. In two games off the bench, he has averaged six points and 1.5 rebounds in 18 minutes per game.

Garnett is apparently a big fan of his game as well.

"Jeff is probably one of the most versatile guys I've been around," Garnett said. "He's uh, it just looks like . . . he's effortlessly . . . he does a lot of things . . . he just makes it look simple. I can't put it into words right now. I'm glad he's an addition to our team."

Garnett has plenty of praise for Krstic, who is affectionately referred to as "Chris."

In two games - both as a starter - Krstic has averaged 10 points, 5.5 rebounds while averaging 25.5 minutes per game.

"Chris is very versatile," Garnett said. "I didn't know he was that good an offensive rebounder. He's very active. Just gotta learn little small things about them, what they like to do. I'm pretty sure we're going to be OK with those guys."

Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur has competed against Krstic and Green when they played for Oklahoma City. Knowing how they play, and how the Celtics have played in recent years, Okur believes all involved will benefit from this unexpected union.

"Jeff is really versatile, can cause a lot of problems because he can play well against bigger or smaller guys on him," Okur told "And Krstic, he's not as good a defender as Perkins, but he's not bad, either. He's probably a better scorer around the basket, and he has good range for a big man. The Celtics are a really good team, and those two guys are going to help them be even better."

And while the C's will move on in what's sure to be a Perkins-free future, it's going to take them all - Garnett, especially - to get used to it.

"I got my own feelings about Perk, because he's a brother," Garnett said. "But I'm embracing this new relationship with Jeff and Krstic."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

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Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

BOSTON – Avery Bradley doesn’t mind being a standout, but this is probably not what he had in mind. 

Injuries have ravaged the Boston Celtics’ starting five to the point where only one player, Bradley, has been with the first unit in all 22 games this season. 

Just like Bradley was looked upon to step his game up in the absence of Isaiah Thomas (right groin) at Orlando on Wednesday, he will once again be challenged to lead Boston (13-9) to victory tonight when the Thomas-less Celtics face the Toronto Raptors. 

Bradley’s emergence as a two-way talent this season has overshadowed at times what has been another season of elite play defensively. 

And he’ll need to be on top of his defensive game tonight against a Raptors All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. 

Both Lowry and DeRozan present a different kind of challenge for Bradley who will spend time defending each of them at various points during the game. 

Lowry has good size, strength and deceptive quickness in addition to an under-rated perimeter game that will keep Bradley on his toes for sure. 

This season he's averaging 20.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 7.6 assists while shooting 42.9 percent on 3's which is also a career mark. 

And DeRozan is having the kind of season that might get him a few league MVP votes. 

His 28.0 points per game ranks fifth in the NBA, but making his numbers even more impressive is that unlike most guards DeRozan doesn’t generate much offense from three-pointers.

DeRozan averages 1.8 three-point attempts per game which is the fewest attempts among any player ranked among the league’s top-25 scorers.

The 6-foot-7 All-Star is the master of the mid-range game which accounts for 31.5 percent of the points he scores. And when he’s not shooting the mid-range, he’s working a defender in one-on-one iso-situations. 

That helps explain why 76.4 percent of his two-point made field goals are unassisted. 

But here’s the thing about Bradley. 

As much as we give him props for what he does defensively, it’s his offense that has put him on the map as a potential All-Star this season. 

Bradley is averaging a career-high 17.9 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He’s also averaging a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game in addition to shooting a career-high 40.7 percent on 3's.

But for Bradley, individual accolades are only going to come his way by the Celtics winning games; preferably against above-average teams like the Toronto Raptors.

And that would make both Bradley and the Celtics stand out this season.