KG’s Disappearing Act

» June 16, 2008 2:20 PM | By Brandon Hoffman

Kevin Garnett entered the NBA Finals shooting 52% from the field during the 2008 playoffs.

Kevin shot 53% from the field versus Rasheed Wallace and the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. Even more impressive is the fact that out of his 101 shot attempts during that series, only 21 of them came inside the paint.

KG is shooting just 40% from the field versus the Lakers.

Garnett has attempted 87 shots over the first 5 games of the NBA Finals. Twenty-one of those 87 shots have come inside the paint. Despite his shooting struggles, Kevin is connecting on 57% (12-of-21) of his shots within 10 feet of the basket.

I regard KG — at 6-11 — as the greatest shooting big man of all-time. He shoots better from mid-range than 90% of the guards and shooting forwards in the league.

I love his intensity. I love his passion. And I love the effort he gives on the defensive side of the ball.

But I’ll never understand his failure to assert himself down low.

I’ve heard all of the excuses.

He doesn’t have the build to play down low for 48 minutes.

That’s just not his game.

And so on and so forth. I’m not buying any of it. Kevin Garnett is a power forward. One of the greatest power forwards of all-time. Power forwards score their points on the low block, with their backs to the basket. It would be different if KG was incapable of producing down low. But he’s more than capable. I stand by my assertion that when motivated, KG is every bit as unstoppable as Tim Duncan is on the block.

I can live with KG’s shortcomings in the clutch (like when he missed 3-of-4 free throws in the 4th quarter of last night’s game).

But his shot selection is inexcusable.


4 Responses to “KG’s Disappearing Act”

  1. King_Kaun Says:

    Good post! I agree with everything here. GARNETT IS FINALLY IN THE FINALS!! Why the HELL isn’t he averaging 30 and 20?!? He should be playing like his life depends on it, but instead he is often-times getting the ball downlow, and then passing it out to anyone else who is remotely open…its not supposed to be like this. And the CONSTANT foul trouble…

    If Garnett doesn’t finally unleash in game 6….then things will look very bleak for Gang Green…

  2. A-Train Says:

    “I regard KG — at 6-11 — as the greatest shooting big man of all-time. He shoots better from mid-range than 90% of the guards and shooting forwards in the league.”

    That’s a stretch, Hoff. KG’s 18-foot jumpers are almost always taken when he’s completely open. It’s not like guys are guarding him out there.

    I can name many better shooters right off the top of my head.

    Nowitzki is one. McHale is another. Mailman was another. Matt Bonner. Sam Perkins. Bill Laimbeer. I mean, there are a lot. Even Marcus Camby routinely hits 16-footers. Yao Ming is an excellent shooter. Pat Ewing.

    Not to say he isn’t a good shooter–he is–it’s just he’s not the best big man shooter ever.

  3. Erick Says:

    I completely agree with this article. Garnett’s inability to play in the post render him mortal and keep opposing teams from dealing with the near impossible task of defending a great post player while your frontcourt is in foul trouble.

    Honestly though, I’d even pardon a lot of KG’s timidity if he hit a number of jumpers in the clutch, but he never has.

    3 missed free throws, a missed defensive rebound with under a minute, two missed tip-ins—one relatively difficult, but one, an easy tip-in over Jordan Farmar, should have been converted, or at least Garnett should have grabbed it with both hands, gathered, and went back up again.

    Plus, his bad decision making with two fouls to pick up his third (even though it wasn’t a foul).

    Not smart, and not clutch. That’s one good performance, two mediocre performances, and two outright choke jobs in the Finals for KG. This is an all-time great?

  4. Hoffman Says:

    A-Train,

    I don’t consider Dirk a big man. He’s a shooting forward, not a power forward.

    I’ll take KG over any of the other guys you mentioned.

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