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More Ticket Please

Dan Shaughnessy has a pretty good article on Kevin Garnett for the Globe:

So, where is the Big Ticket now that he's finally on the Big Stage?  Garnett is averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds per game in the Finals. He's still playing Rodney Harrison defense. But the stats lie. We want more. His own coach said, "We've got to get Kevin going. Clearly."

Right. We want Garnett to dominate with the basketball. No one can dispute his defensive intensity and impact, but we want him to have a Wilt Chamberlain game, or a Larry Bird game, or a Michael Jordan game. On offense. We want him to take his defensive energy to the other end of the court, especially at the end of close games. Stop floating around the perimeter like an anxious high school sophomore trying to get the nerve to cross the cafeteria floor and ask a cheerleader for a date.

Apparently, this just isn't him. When I wrote much of these same sentiments before the Celtics and Pistons played Game 5 in Boston, Detroit coach Flip Saunders (Garnett's first coach with the Timberwolves) pulled me aside and said, "They wrote that story about him in Minnesota every year."

Bill Simmons takes it one step further, offering the following explanation for KG's lack of game:

He gets too worked up for big games to the point that it's almost to his detriment. For instance, it was revealed after the Detroit series that Garnett hadn't slept for four days, a period that started after Game 4 and stretched past Game 6. If that was true, you can only imagine how he's handling the Finals. Like O.J. with Nicole, it's possible that he cares a little too much. And for someone who's supposed to be one of the best 25 or 30 players ever, it's almost incomprehensible that he can't make the Lakers pay for single-covering him with the likes of Gasol. Not to sound like Joe Theismann, but here's a guy with a can't-miss 20-footer, superb footwork on the low post, great passing skills and legitimate athletic advantages over every Laker who will defend him in this series. Is there any reason Garnett shouldn't be averaging 30 a night? I can't think of one ... except for the "Maybe he hasn't slept in a week" thing.

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