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 CSNNE.com. "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."