Why Boston Celtics Forward Kevin Garnett Loves His Critics

Reid FerrinContributor IJune 7, 2012

KG showing intensity during Game 5 - 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.
KG showing intensity during Game 5 - 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Age is just a number. 36-year-old Kevin Garnett proved that again Tuesday night, helping the Boston Celtics defeat the Miami Heat 94-90 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The “Big Ticket”, who has been plagued with injuries the past few seasons, finished with 26 points (11-20) and 11 rebounds during Boston’s South Beach victory. But the impressive double-double perhaps wasn’t the most noticeable asset KG provided the Celtics during the win.

With the Celtics trailing 80-79 in the fourth quarter, Garnett smacked LeBron James’ shot off the glass, hustled down court and was rewarded with a baseline jumper that gave his team an 81-80 lead. And despite the lead changing sides after that shot, Garnett’s confidence and leadership held the team together. And his love for the game and his teammates doesn’t stop when the whistle blows. During a fourth quarter timeout, Garnett noticed that sharpshooter Mickael Pietrus was not fully engaged in the team huddle. Garnett grabbed “MP’s” arm and held it until the huddle broke, giving more proof that KG is all about the team concept.

Later in the game, the Celtics were leading 92-90, and Garnett had a chance to all but ice the game with two free throws. The career 79 percent free-throw shooter stepped to the line and nailed both shots, giving the Celtics a 94-90 victory.

After the win, Garnett told ESPN’s Doris Burke that those who say he is too old to play (at a level he has played at in the past) fuel his passion and intensity on the court. Garnett said, “I work really hard on my craft every day,” and it clearly shows. Watch KG’s passion unfold Thursday night at TD Garden, where he and the Celtics look to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals, seeking their 18th world championship in franchise history.