Felger and Massarotti opened Monday’s show discussing the Boston Celtics’s 92-83 Game 4 loss to the 76ers on Friday and what it means for tonight’s Game 5 at the Garden.
It’s obvious that the Celtics success begins and ends with Kevin Garnett, so what happened to him Friday night?
The Celtics were cruising, with a double-digit lead in the third quarter, but there was something that knocked Garnett down a couple pegs and really effected the rest of the game.
“They go into a game in Philadelphia, and they let them go. Garnett in the second half of the game was a non-factor immediately after Elton Brand confronted him right around mid-court,” said Mazz. “He was mentally and emotionally checked out.”
Felger went back to a few seconds before the Brand confrontation, when Garnett attempted to trip 76ers forward Andre Iguodala at half court.
“It’s the way Garnett plays. But think about it; that happened with 9:46 left in the third quarter, with the Celtics up 17 points. Garnett tried to trip Iguodala. That possession, the 76ers get a technical and make it. That (next) possession Garnett gets the ball down low and Brand face-washed him… and that is when the Sixers went on their run.”
Philadelphia went on to outscore the Celtics 59-33 after the confrontation.
So what should we expect from KG Monday night, at home?
“He gets home, he gets comfortable, sees himself on the scoreboard and ARGHHHHHHHHH…. Garnett gets to do his thing; he gets his swerve on,” said Felger. “But it works for him, right? So you know it’s coming tonight where he’s going to be assertive, feeling it from the start, and they win this going away.”
But there is something that bothered Mazz about Friday night that worries him going forward in the series, especially after watching Lebron James lead the Miami Heat Sunday afternoon on the road against the Indiana Pacers.
“Just look at the 48 hours over the weekend and how they transpired. The Celtics collapsed and wilted like the Heat — with Garnett playing the role of Lebron James. Then 48 hours later, Miami is out there on the road, and if they were wearing the opposite uniforms we would have never known. We would have never known in a million years,” said Mazz.
“Look at what the Spurs are doing out in the West; they’ve won 18 in a row, they’re cleaning up on people. We’re not going to give you a sniff of oxygen, we’re going to bury your ass here and now,” Mazz said of San Antonio, who took care of the LA Clippers in four games to advance to the Western Finals. “Watching that game Friday night was infuriating!”