Kevin Garnett: ‘Let the players decide the game’
|05.15.12 at 1:07 am ET|
Kevin Garnett set a moving screen. He knows it. You know it. And referee Michael Smith knows it.
The only possible question is whether Smith should have called Garnett for it, what with 10 seconds remaining, the Celtics trailing by three and Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on the line.
“I just thought in that situation you let the players decide the game,” said Garnett, whose illegal pick overshadowed an inspired fourth quarter in the 82-81 loss, “but if he felt like that was an illegal pick, then that’s what it is.”
It’s the kind of play that can and should be argued at bars all over Boston. Those wearing green-colored glasses swear it should have never been called — not then, when a whistle sways a conference semifinals series.
“I wasn’t fond of it. At all,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, whose team travels to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Wednesday. “You know, I think Kevin got called for three off-the-ball offensive fouls. So clearly it looked like they were looking for it all night and they got three of them. If you’re going to tell me Kevin was the only one moving in picks tonight, then I’ll live with that. He clearly was not the only one, but he was the one who got the calls tonight.”
Without wearing leprechaun leggings, the rational fan admits a foul is a foul, regardless of the situation. After all, referee Dan Crawford already had warned Garnett about his screen-setting earlier in the game.
“I’m not going to make a big stink about it,” KG said. “Danny had already given me a warning about how I was setting the picks. I’m going to continue to set picks. I’m going to continue to get guys open. That wasn’t, to me, the game. We did things going up to that point in determining the game.”
Heck, not even the 76ers could decide whether the whistle should have been blown or not.
“I was surprised he called it, to tell you the truth,” said Evan Turner, who was defending the weak side. “I was like, ‘Yo, what happened? What’s going on?’ They called that foul, and I was like, ‘Wow, somebody’s going to be mad.’ ”
“I think that was a foul,” countered Sixers teammate Elton Brand. “It’s been called late in the regular season, so to see it late in the regular season, it was what it was.”
At least we can all agree on something. As Garnett said, “That’s what it is.” And so the Celtics head to Philadelphia on Wednesday hoping to snatch homecourt advantage back from the Sixers — with a pissed-off Garnett in tow.
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