BOSTON (CBS) – With the Boston Celtics sitting at 14-16 following a 1-3 road trip that saw them get blown out in three straight games, they are in need of a wake-up call.
Yes, another one.
While Doc Rivers has done his share of calling out his team, Kevin Garnett stepped up to the task on Sunday night following Boston’s 118-96 loss in Sacramento.
“These are dog days,” Garnett said after Boston’s third loss of 18+ points, according to CSNNE. “This is really where you really see who’s with you. Ain’t nobody cheering, ain’t no lights on us and I love this right now. Because this is where all the plastic people melt right here.”
Garnett did not point fingers or single anyone out, but the message is clear.
“We gotta play better,” Garnett said, echoing sentiment that nearly every Celtics has said at least once this season — some on a weekly basis. “We gotta have some self pride in ourselves. Gave up 100 and something points three games in a row, and it ain’t been close. We gotta at some point take it personal, you know?”
Sunday night was possibly the Celtics worst loss of the season, and caps off a string of awful losses out on the West Coast. The Kings (who improved to 11-19 on the season) got out in transition, scoring 20 fast break points, and destroyed Boston in down low with 56 points in the paint. When they weren’t beating the Celtics in the paint, they were hitting from downtown with 10 three-pointers. Perimeter defense was just another addition to the “needs improvement” list from Boston’s current three-game skid, as the Celtics gave up 34 three’s to the Clippers, Warriors and Kings.
For a team that has taken great pride in their defense since Garnett’s arrival in the summer of 2007 this is just not acceptable, and Garnett wants everyone to know it.
Garnett himself is having a pretty solid season. The 36-year-old is averaging 14.7 points and 7 rebounds per game, and is often one of the only players that actually looks like he is giving it his all on a nightly basis.
It’s often said that when KG talks, everyone listens. Even when he isn’t playing, just his presence can make teammates want to play at their best.
Well, KG has spoken. But so far this season, talk has just been talk. There has been plenty of it, from coaches and players alike, and all it’s translated into is a sub-.500 team that is still looking to find it’s way more than a third of the way through the season.
Talk is cheap. What matters is the Celtics stepping up to Garnett’s challenge.