Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are two guys who continue to surprise me with the way they play at such a high level as they get older. A few years ago, I would have guessed that both Garnett and Duncan would be retired going into the 2012-13 season.
On the contrary, in an interview with Bob Ryan, Doc Rivers said Garnett told him this is the best he has felt in years.
Garnett’s numbers dropped off when he went to Boston from Minnesota for the 2007-08 season, but that was to be expected because he actually had teammates who could play on the Celtics. His numbers steadily declined up until 2010 due to injuries and old age, but then they started to pick back up in the last couple seasons.
He is obviously not playing at his career best, but last year during the playoffs he looked like an All-Star for sure. Garnett averaged more 19 points and 10 rebounds a game through the 2012 postseason, showing he is still capable of leading a team.
If Garnett says that going into this season he is at his best, I believe him. The Celtics are putting a lot of stock in him as well, signing the 17-year veteran to a 3-year, $34 million contract this offseason. I can’t believe the 36-year-old Garnett is going to be sticking around the NBA for three more years, but I have to tip my hat to him for his determination.
The Celtics will look a little different next year, but they still have Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo at the helm, and anything is possible with that trio, even with the NBA being as top-heavy as it is right now.
The Celtics took the Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, but the new pieces like Jason Terry and Courtney Lee will have to fit in well if they want to get back there and give Garnett a shot at one last title. KG clearly is not ready to give up yet.