At the 2007 NBA Draft, the big story other than Greg Oden and Kevin Durant was, “where will Kevin Garnett end up?” There were rumors of Kevin Garnett going to the Los Angeles Lakers to team with Kobe Bryant. There were rumors of Kevin Garnett joining the Phoenix Suns as well. Finally Kevin Garnett has a new home but it’s not Los Angeles or Phoenix, it’s Boston.
Ever since the trade was announced everybody has been asking, “does this make the Boston Celtics a contender?” Some people are of the belief that Kevin Garnett does make the Boston Celtics a contender in the Eastern Conference, along with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Others think that Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce will all want the ball and the Boston Celtics will end up having three players that don’t mesh.
I’m not about to say that the Boston Celtics are going to be an awesome team. I’m not about to say that the Boston Celtics will all mesh and play well together. I’m not going to deny there is a chance that Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce will all want the ball. At the same time, how can you not think Kevin Garnett makes the Boston Celtics a contender in the Eastern Conference?
I’ve heard many people joke that the addition of Kevin Garnett will help the Boston Celtics get to the first round of the playoffs. A jab at Kevin Garnett because he has only been past the first round once. Let’s be fair though. Kevin Garnett has played in the Western Conference his whole career. He played against the Kobe and Shaq Lakers, Steve Nash’s Suns, Dirk’s Mavericks, the high scoring Sacramento Kings teams, the Malone and Stockton Jazz and Tim Duncan’s Spurs. Even with all those teams in the mix Kevin Garnett took the Timberwolves to the playoffs seven times with no help.
The one time Kevin Garnett was given help he went to the Western Conference Finals, and by help I don’t mean Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. I mean Latrell Spreewell and Sam Cassell. That’s not even that great help and he went to the Western Conference Finals. As for people who think Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce won’t get along with the Boston Celtics, well I don’t know about Pierce and Allen but if Kevin Garnett can work with Spreewell he can work with anybody.
So it’s clear if Kevin Garnett, by himself, can get into the playoffs in the Western Conference, then Kevin Garnett, with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, can get into the Eastern Conference playoffs.
But the question isn’t, “will Kevin Garnett get the Boston Celtics in the playoffs?” The question is, “will the Boston Celtics be Eastern Conference Championship contenders?” I have two words: Lebron James. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the Eastern Conference Championship and went to the NBA Finals. Who do the Cleveland Cavaliers have? Lebron James and who? Nobody, that’s who. Lebron James went to the NBA Championship on his own. Is Kevin Garnett as good as Lebron James? No, but Lebron James isn’t a whole lot better. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen all together are definitely as good as Lebron James, better than Lebron James. So if Lebron James can single-handedly take the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, then yes, the Boston Celtics addition of Kevin Garnett makes them a contender for the Eastern Conference Championship.