Will Kevin Garnett's Move Back to Power Forward Save Boston Celtics' Season?
According to Boston Celtics play-by-play announcer Sean Grande, head coach Doc Rivers will move Garnett to power forward and start Jason Collins at center. Their first experiment with said lineup saw the Beantown ballers win 103-91 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A sign of things to come or just beginners' luck?
As promised, the other change now official..Jason Collins will start, Kevin Garnett moves to the 4, with Rondo, Terry and Pierce.
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) December 19, 2012
In his first game back at power forward, KG finished with 12 points, six rebounds, three assists, three blocks and one steal in 31 minutes.
If anyone is competitive enough to make the necessary alterations in his game to warrant change, it is Garnett. After all, it was KG who helped revolutionize the power forward position to begin with.
The question is, can KG defend the athleticism that now dominates the position? More importantly, can this change cure the Celtics' current woes?
Let's weigh the pros and cons.
Collins at the 5
What type of impact will Kevin Garnett moving to power forward have on the Boston Celtics?
Although name value may suggest that Collins is an incapable fit, that is hardly the case. Collins happens to be one of the better interior defenders in the league, specifically when tasked with defending athletic bigs.
Just ask Dwight Howard.
The issue with Collins, however, is that he is, in fact, severely plagued by injuries. He has missed at least 30 games in every season since 2008-09.
Thus leaving Boston in position to, potentially, start rookie Fab Melo.
Defending the Stretch
We know that KG has the competitive drive to make it work, but does he have the athleticism or mobility?
From an offensive standpoint, KG has made a living as a mid-range master as he's gotten older. In 2012-13 alone, he's shooting 50.6 percent from 10 to 23 feet.
More importantly, Garnett is converting 50.0 percent of his field-goal attempts from 16 to 23 feet, the range he would be forced out to on defense against the likes of LeBron and 'Melo.
As minor injuries compile over the span of the season, look for KG's mobility to be limited. Fortunately, one's drive to achieve victory is far more important than athleticism.
Garnett's is as strong as any.
Impact on Interior Scoring
Thus far in 2012-13, the Boston Celtics rank 25th in the NBA in terms of points in the paint. This is no surprise when you evaluate the makeup of the Celtics as an offensive unit.
KG is the only interior player to average more than 10.0 points per game. Brandon Bass is second at 8.4.
By moving Garnett to power forward, the Celtics will continue to run a spread offense. The difference will be that the player being drawn out to the perimeter is likely to be comfortable in this defensive set.
This beckons an important question: How will the Celtics get their points in the paint?
Garnett has the advantage of length while posting up the younger power forwards. He'll be forced to capitalize on this strength due to the fact that his opposition will now be athletic enough to defend his mid-range game.
If anyone on the current roster can cure his interior scoring woes, it will be KG flashing to the post. That is the only way to truly save Boston's season.
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