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KG to ground control: need some help down low, please.
Avery Bradley can't take all the blame, even for the Raymond Felton explosion. Nobody was meeting Felton at the rim after he blew by AB. If a guy standing 6'1”, 205 pounds finishes at your rim, your front court has issues.
Celtics fans have recognized this for a while. President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge tried to alleviate the problem by drafting Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. Sullinger's season got cut short by February back surgery, and Melo never showed signs of significant NBA promise.
Long story short, Garnett played at the center position most of the year. If any 36-year-old, undersized veteran is going to attempt to man the interior, it should be him. Still, he doesn't stand a chance to hold down this position another 82-plus game season.
Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin largely had their way with Garnett throughout the series, until he absolutely blew up during Game 3.
KG finished with 12 points and a remarkable 17 rebounds, then went on to grab 35 boards to go with 29 points over Boston's next two wins.
Those numbers are amazing, and he deserves credit. But he cannot do it alone. While the Celtics rather successfully got out-rebounded by a mere 238-234 margin, the failure came on the offensive glass. Boston grabbed only 31 offensive boards. New York had 69.
Not one Celtic finished the series with double-digit offensive rebounds. Tyson Chandler had 22, Kenyon Martin had 14 and Iman Shumpert had 11 for New York. Raymond Felton, the 6'1” guy this article keeps going back to, had seven—one fewer than Brandon Bass, and two fewer than KG.
Sorry to overstress the point, but the Celts shot themselves in the foot by allowing second-chance opportunities to a three-point shooting team. Not only that, Boston's big players failed to rotate on penetration, allowing blatantly open opportunities near the hoop. New York is not known for scoring points in the paint, but Boston often made them look like the 1989 Pistons.
So, while it's been said before, the fact remains that Boston needs help down low. The New York series served as a bold, double-underlined reminder that something needs to be done about interior defense and rebounding.