Garnett inspires wonder with inexplicable play

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Garnett inspires wonder with inexplicable play

On Saturday night, Kevin Garnett delivered his latest in a long line of headline-stealing quotes.

I have no life at this point," said Garnett, with whom I now have at least one thing in common. "I go home, get treatment, come back in here, study tape, film -- no life at all. This is what it is.

The quote goes up on the 2012 playoff cork board, along with other classics like:

Rondos the head that makes the Voltron.

Some of yall dont know how to bake, but dont worry about it. Ask your mothers and fathers or something someone who knows how to bake.

My only advice to him is next time he opens his mouth, actually know what he's talking about X's and O's versus checkbooks and bottom lines.

Happy Mothers Day to you mothers and future mothers. I aint talking to you deadbeat ass dads.

To be honest, the no life quote isnt nearly as entertaining as some of the others, but what it lacks in humor and KG-quirkiness, it makes up for in disclosure and honesty. It gives us another glimpse behind the KG curtain which was almost entirely off limits until this past season. And even if he lifted the veil only to reveal that there's nothing behind it, it was still pretty cool, and a refreshing deviation from the typical cliches we get from most athletes in every sport.

I have no life at this point. I go home, get treatment, come back in here, study tape, film no life at all. This is what it is.

This is what it is.

This is what it is.

But here's what most of us still want to know:

What exactly is this?

What are we actually seeing?

How do we explain what Kevin Garnett is doing?

It's clear that he's drawn unbelievable inspiration from the haters those who wrote him off as old, over-the-hill and unable to compete at his former Hall of Fame level. But those haters are nothing new. They've existed for years. They or, I should probably say, "we" have questioned his physical limitations since February of 2009. Are we supposed to assume that Garnett wasn't as motivated last year? That the sight of LeBron, Wade and Bosh on the other side of the court wasn't enough for him to reach his max-level of clinically insane motivation?

It's also clear that he's benefited from playing center, but that can only account for so much. Al Horford or Josh Smith? Spencer Hawes or Elton Brand? Is the difference between either of these match-ups actually the difference in KG's ridiculous production? What about the fact that his worst two games of the postseason by far occurred on nights when he was guarding, and being guarded by Jason Collins?

And it's also clear that he's at a level, physically, that he hasn't been in years. That's not to say that he's 100 percent or even close but KG's running, jumping and moving in ways he hasn't since before that aforementioned injury. And he's been doing it for the better part of this season. The same season we all assumed would run him into the ground, render him useless and likely send him into retirement. The same is season that's reeked havoc across the league and worn down many younger, stronger and, we assumed, more physically resilient players. Yet somehow, he's flourished. That alone is almost impossible to fathom. Combine it with everything else, and . . . I don't know.

Maybe it just is what it is. Far be it from a Boston sports fan to ever question that mantra. And really, at this point, why question anything? Why waste a second wondering how this happened, when it's far more satisfying to sit back revel in the fact that it is happening.

And with that, I should probably apologize for 700 words worth of wonder. I probably would have been better off using this space as an opportunity to declare that there's no chance that KG can keep this up. That he's bound to wear down and take the Celtics with him. I could have printed it out, slipped it into his locker during pre-game and watched the Sixers pay the price.

But right now, it really seems like KG is past that.

He's got all the fuel he needs. He's all gassed up. He's locked in.

Game. Home. Treatment. Tape. Film. Game.

Rinse and repeat. And hopefully, until much further notice.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Draper: Better financial option for Durant to stay in OKC one more year

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Draper: Better financial option for Durant to stay in OKC one more year

A. Sherrod Blakely and Kyle Draper discuss the chances the Boston Celtics land Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler or DeMarcus Cousins.

Celtics begin working out draft prospects Wednesday

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Celtics begin working out draft prospects Wednesday

BOSTON – The Celtics’ practice facility will become a basketball port-of-call in the coming weeks as some of the best young talent passes through, all with the goal of doing their best to impress the Celtics’ brass.

Austin Ainge, the Celtics’ director of player personnel, said Boston will begin working out players on Wednesday with the first group consisting of six players - two guards, two forwards and two big men.
 
“We’ll put them through a lot of different situations,” Ainge, who declined to identify the six players working out on Wednesday, told CSNNE.com. “We’ll see how bigs are at guarding guards, and guards defending bigger players, some of the roles they would have to play if they were Celtics…We’ll get a good look at what they can do in a lot of different scenarios.”
 
With eight draft picks [three in the first round and five in the second], the list of players making the rounds will likely be longer than usual.
 
Ainge said he anticipated the Celtics will work out 80-100 players, which is slightly more than they usually do.
 
“With trades, you just never really know,” Ainge said. “So we try to work out players all the way through 60.”
 
Speaking of trades, Ainge anticipates the Celtics will be on the phone more than past years because they have so many picks and, by all indications, do not plan to use them all.
 
If Boston can’t package some of their picks to acquire more talent, the Celtics will look even closer than usual at drafting players from overseas with the intent that they don’t join Boston’s roster for a couple of years.
 
Because Boston has so many picks, you would think they would be in position to be more selective than past years when it came to who they brought in for workouts.
 
“With our picks, it is in a player’s best interest to work out for us,” Ainge acknowledged. “But for us, we want to see as many players as possible so that we can draft the best fit, the best player that’s available.”
 
The draft lottery later on May 17 will determine exactly where the Celtics will be selecting with the pick they acquired as part of the Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade with Brooklyn in 2013.
 
Boston acquired three picks as part of the trade. They used the first one to draft James Young two years ago.
 
This past season, Brooklyn (21-61) finished with the third-worst record, which gives Boston a 15.6 percent chance that the Nets pick it receives will be the No. 1 overall selection. 
 
If Boston lands one of the top-two picks, a workout with LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram – the consensus top-two players in this year’s draft – is likely. And if the Celtics wind up with the No. 2 pick, they might work out Dragan Bender who is the top overseas prospect in this year’s draft.
 
In addition to the Brooklyn pick, which will be no worse than the sixth overall selection, Boston has another pair of first-round picks (16th and 23rd overall), along with five second-round picks (31st, 35th, 45th, 51st and 58th), at their disposal.

 

History of third-best odds in NBA draft lottery

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History of third-best odds in NBA draft lottery

The NBA draft lottery is two weeks away, which means only two more weeks of hitting the “sim lottery” button on our computers while we should be doing work.

Since the weighted lottery system was modified before 1994 giving the team with the worst record a 25-percent chance at the No. 1 pick, the worst team has ended up with the No. 1 pick just three times, most recently the 2015 lottery to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The 25-percent chance, in short, means that out of 1,000 ping pong ball combinations, the worst team going into the lottery has 250 of those combinations. If one of those 250 combinations is pulled, the No. 1 pick goes to that team.

The number of combinations drops per team from worst team in lottery down to the best at No. 14. Since 2005, there are 16 playoff teams and 14 lottery teams. Where the lottery teams rank in record determines how many chances they have at a winning combination. The No. 14 team in the lottery has five chances.

The Boston Celtics go into the lottery holding the Brooklyn Nets’ pick. The Nets finished with the third-worst record this season, giving them 156 combinations, or a 15.6-percent chance at the No. 1 pick.

Combinations are pulled for the top three picks. After that, teams fall into place based on record.

The Celtics have a 46.9-percent chance at landing a Top 3 pick. Picks 1-3 break down virtually equal, at 15.6-percent for the No. 1 seed, 15.6-percent for the No. 2 seed, and 14.7-percent for the No. 3 seed.

Because three teams could leapfrog them (remember, combinations are chosen for just the top three picks), they could fall to as low as the No. 6 seed, but no further. Boston’s chances to land the No. 4 or No. 5 seed actually increase from the first three picks, as they have a 22.6-percent chance at No. 4 and a 26.5-percent chance at No. 5. A No. 6 seed would be extremely unlucky, as there’s just a 4-percent chance at that.

So the question you want to know: How many No. 3 seeds have ended up with the top pick? Since 1994, it’s happened five times, though based on teams with the same record that season, ping pong ball combinations varied. (Example: in 1994, the Bucks were tied with two other teams for the second-worst record, giving them 163 combinations. I included them as one of the five “No. 3 seeds” previously mentioned even though technically they weren’t - it’s close enough.)

The No. 3 seed has never gotten the second pick. It’s gotten the third pick three times, the fourth pick four times, the fifth pick nine times, and the sixth pick once.

Since 2005, the No. 3 lottery team has won the lottery twice (2009, 2013). Let’s take a look at every third-seeded lottery team since then, where there they ended up picking, and who ended up going third in that draft.

Click here for the complete breakdown of each lottery since 2005.