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Friday, June 4, 2010
Gasol on Garnett: "Lost some explosiveness..."

By Brian Kamenetzky

The big news out of practice Friday afternoon was Pau Gasol, and his comments about Kevin Garnett. Asked if there's any difference in KG's game now as opposed to when he first matched up against him a bunch of years ago, Pau made the mistake of answering the question honestly. Arguably a little too honestly:
"On Kevin's part, he's also lost some explosiveness. he's more of a jump shooter now you could say, comes off the lane. Before he had a really, really quick first step and was getting to the lane and he was more aggressive then. Time passes and we all suffer it one way or another, but he's still a terrific player, a terrific competitor, and he's going to bring everything he's got. You can count on that."

Garnett, who is not amused by much of anything, was not amused. Pau didn't say anything with which most observers of Garnett specifically and basketball generally wouldn't agree, but given a) the way in which Pau dominated the matchup with Garnett in Game 1 and b) the fact KG is somewhat nutty these days, there's talk Gasol may have provided bulletin board material for the Celtics.

See the video of Gasol's comments here. It's hardly inflammatory stuff in context, and given how focused Garnett would have been anyway to redeem himself, I doubt it'll change things much for Game 2. As ESPN's Rachel Nichols reports, after returning to his hotel, Garnett watched the broadcast of Game 1. In full. Twice. With unflattering commentary turned up high. He said he would watch it again tomorrow. Does this not sound like a guy already interested in cranking up his performance? How much more motivated he be?

In the Finals, this sort of thing tends to titillate fans and media more than it actually impacts what happens on the court. But maybe I'm missing something?