Yesterday the headline at CBS Sportsline, regarding the first game of the Eastern Conference Champtionships - Celtics vs Boston - featured a photo of Kevin Garnett beside the headline “Mano a mano” - and the explanation that Garnett had battled Detroit’s Rasheed Wallace all night, and Garnett had won the battle.
I also looked at the shooting stats for each team, just out of curiosity.
For Detroit, four players had taken more than 10 shots each. In other words, a real team effort.
For the Celtics, only the “big three” had done so - Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, and Ray Allen had taken the fewest of the lot. I still get the impression that he doesn’t want to be shooting, but was merely reacting to the criticism he’ds been getting because he hasn’t “shown up” yet in these playoffs.
But the point of my headline, “Teamo-a-teamo” is simply that basketball is a team sport, and one team can’t win if their “star player” scores half the points and the rest of the team does nothing. At least, you can’t win consistently - not in the playoffs.
And I just wonder if these nights of one superstar for one team getting 40 while the star on the other team gets 45 is not so much about one player picking up the team and carrying it, but all about a whole lot of ego. One superstar sees the guy on the other team pouring in baskets at will and thinks, “This guy is showing me up, I’m going to show him I can do the same thing.”
It worked out for the Celtics in Game 7 versus the Cavs… but now that there’s no “superstar” to challenge Paul Pierce, looks like he’s a bit more willing to share the rock.
Looks like Kevin Garnett is willing to step up to the line and take his shots..the question is, is it better if Ray Allen still continues to defer? After all, it’s a game on two ends of the floor, and playing great defense has to compensate for having a poor shooting night.