Wet paint: KG stays away from the basket
May, 24, 2012
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
PHILADELPHIA -- The Boston Celtics settled for an alarming amount of jumpers in Wednesday's Game 6 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, but maybe no one's shot chart illustrated it clearer than Kevin Garnett's.
All 20 of Garnett's field-goal attempts in Game 6 were from 10 feet or beyond, with an average distance of 17 feet, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Garnett finished 9-of-20 shooting for 20 points with 11 rebounds over 41:05.
But considering how important Garnett's offense around the basket has been in this series -- and how thoroughly the 76ers dominated points in the paint in this game (42-16) -- the number of jumpers Garnett and his teammates settled for is simply staggering.
In fact, before Wednesday's game, Garnett had 126 contests with the Celtics with 15 or more field-goal attempts. In all of those games, Garnett had at least one shot inside of 10 feet, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
"We missed shots that normally we make," Garnett said. Which is true, but Boston's lack of offense through the post and in the paint is alarming in a game the Celtics shot a mere 33.3 percent (26-of-78 overall).
Said Celtics coach Doc Rivers: "We've got to do a better job, offensively. I thought we had a lot of empty possessions, offensively. We played in random a lot tonight. [We] really never established Kevin [Garnett]; even though Kevin had points, it wasn't the type of points that we needed. So, we have to do a better job there."
Sixers center Elton Brand admitted the hosts tried to take away Garnett's easy buckets.
"He's been playing so great this series, we were just trying to limit his easy shots," Brand said. "Twenty field-goal attempts, 20 points -- shot-per-point for any guy that shoots a lot during the game, that's what you want. We tried to contest his jumpers, but he started knocking them down late. The easy ones, the post-ups, the putbacks, the dunks -- him and Brandon Bass -- we wanted to take that out of the game, and we felt that we really gave ourselves a shot to win if we did that."
Garnett was 3-of-10 shooting in the first half before getting hot after the intermission. He made four of six shots in the fourth quarter while scoring eight points, but it wasn't enough as Boston did little to generate easy looks around the basket -- all while the Sixers attacked the basket for layups.
Statistical support for this story from NBA.com