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Tag:Kevin Garnett
Posted on: November 3, 2010 2:57 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:25 pm
 

George Karl addresses Kevin Garnett's cancer talk

Denver Nuggets coach George Karl, who has battled cancer, responds to alleged cancer-related trash talk by Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, togeorge-karl Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva. Posted by Ben Golliver Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl has been through a lot this year. Karl was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent grueling treatment for the disease that forced him from the bench during the stretch run and the playoffs.  The details of his treatment, as documented by ESPN's Rick Reilly, who shadowed Karl for a day, are incredibly difficult to read.
With only three of his torturous six weeks of treatment done, and the inside of his mouth looking like he just took 100 bites out of a lava-hot pizza slice, and his head throbbing and his eyes hollow, Karl looks like a guy who should be on a stretcher, not an NBA bench.
"George, this is only going to get harder," a nurse tells him. "You're not going to feel like working." Clearly, she's never met George Karl.
Suddenly, the huge gray machine whirs like a giant Transformer, turning sideways, first this side, then that, as though it's trying to decide how to eat him. Then it zaps his throat and neck lymph nodes, ravaging them. It gives him a radish-red rash that's covering his face, chest and back. I know. He shows me. He shows me many things I don't want to see. He's doing it because he wants people to know exactly what it's like. Wants to take the fear and mystery out of it for people.
While Karl had trouble speaking and watched his Nuggets bomb out in the first round of the playoffs to the Utah Jazz, he maintained his commitment to returning to the bench throughout the summer, and he made it back. His Nuggets currently sit at 2-1 and, while embroiled by Carmelo Anthony's ongoing drama, things could be a lot worse.
That brings us to Tuesday night, when Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva posted a number of messages on Twitter, stating that Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett called him a "cancer patient" during Tuesday night's game between the Pistons and the Celtics. Villanueva suffers from a condition called alopecia universalis, which has rendered him hairless. Alopecia is not cancer, so Villanueva's baldness is no more similar to someone who has undergone radiation treatments than it is to someone that simply has male pattern baldness. Clearly, Garnett's alleged statement was not only medically inaccurate, it was also way over the line of common decency, even by NBA trash talking standards. You probably wouldn't be surprised at the level of vitriol during heated exchanges on the hardwood -- it's astonishing how many claims are made regarding opponents interacting sexually with other people's mothers -- but there are limits. Racist comments, references to the Holocaust and cancer or other life-threatening disease talk are rightfully still off-limits, even given the competitive, charged atmosphere of an NBA game.  The NBA existence isn't like everyday "real life," but it's not completely divorced from reality either. And that goes for the pain of cancer, given that just about everyone has either dealt with the disease personally or through a family member or friend. In that vein, Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post sought Karl's response to Garnett's taunts today. Here's what Karl had to say. 
“My initial response is – it’s disappointing and crossing the line. I don’t know if cancer is an epidemic in our country, but we accept it as a problem and it’s a very dangerous part of life for everybody. Making fun of it, that’s part of (some people’s) sarcastic side of trash talk. … Sometimes, responsibility comes from knowing when to argue when not to – when to cross the line and when not to cross the line. So philosophically, if Kevin and I were close friends, I’d probably call him up and say, ‘I don’t think that’s right (what you said).’ But I also believe that competition makes us do things when we don’t have our total mental morality in line. We act like children at times, even coaches.”
While a generally accepted code of silence among NBA players (what happens on the court, stays on the court) was broken by Villanueva, his online outburst is understandable. As for Garnett?  There's no defending his alleged statements, not as an attempt to gain a competitive edge, not as "just part of the game."  On this one, Garnett is not pushing the envelope like he has many times during his career, he's way off the ethical cliff. And it shouldn't take a phone call from Karl to help him understand that.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 2:54 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:25 pm
 

Charlie Villanueva Twitter rant on Kevin Garnett

A late-night rant about Boston Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett appeared on the Twitter account of Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva. Posted by Ben Golliver Between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning, multiple messages appeared on the Twitter feed of Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva, who goes by @CV31 on the social networking site.  Villanueva is a regular Twitter user, but these messages were different, as they were extremely negative and directed anger and frustration at Boston Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett. A first message read, "KG talks alot of crap, he's prob never been in a fight, I would love to get in a ring with him, I will expose him." Shortly thereafter, two additional messages appeared on the account, "KG called me a cancer patient, I'm pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke ...  I wouldn't even trip about that, but a cancer patient, I know way 2 many people who passed away from it, and I have a special place for those." Screenshots of the tweets are visible below. charlie-villanueva The Pistons played the Celtics on Tuesday night in Detroit, and Villaneuva and Garnett were both issued technical fouls after a minor confrontation late in the game. Villanueva has dealt with jokes about his appearance for years, as this 2006 SI.com article by Andrew Lawrence makes clear. Villanueva suffers from "a mysterious skin disease known as alopecia universalis," writes Lawrence, "which would slowly make him hairless." NBA players have had their Twitter accounts hacked in the past, most memorably Celtics guard Ray Allen, whose account had explicit messages posted on it. It's not immediately clear whether Villanueva was posting the messages or if his account was hacked, although shortly before the Garnett-related tweets were posted, the following message was posted: "Just landed in the ATL, we must win tomorrow, we will turn this around, I'm a believer." The Pistons, who are one of only two teams in the league that are 0-4 on the season, along with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers, play the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday night.  Update (Wednesday): ESPN's Justin Verrier confirms that the tweets were written by Villanueva himself.
Posted on: October 30, 2010 12:06 am
Edited on: October 30, 2010 12:07 am
 

Rajon Rondo is making some history early on

Posted by Royce Young

Friday night against the New York Knicks, Rajon Rondo scored 10 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. And wouldn't you know it, he put up double-digit assists too, notching a triple-double. But this wasn't any triple-double. This was a history-making triple-double.

In Boston's 105-101 over the Knicks, Rondo dished out 24 assists tying the record for most assists ever in a triple-double. (He tied Isiah Thomas whose came in a double-overtime game.) Oh, and on top of that, he also tied the record for most assists after three games in history with 50. Fifty. FIFTY assists. Through three games, Rondo is averaging 16.6 assists per game. That's like good or something.

In Friday's game, here's how his assists lined up: 12 led to baskets at the rim, two to shots 10 feet or closer, one 10-15, five from 16-23 (hello Kevin Garnett pick-and-pop) and four to 3-pointers. Rondo distributed the ball far and wide like a quarterback finding multiple receivers on a big day.

Garnett told reporters after the game, "Sometimes he’ll see something that you don’t see and he’ll make you see it." I think that's a fairly tremendous way of describing a playmaker like Rondo. Similar to a great quarterback throwing a wide receiver open (two football references in one post!). I love that expression.

Rondo is off to a fairly fantastic start with 17 assists in game one, nine in game two and then 24 in the third game. Some are making the case that Rondo might be the best point guard in the league and while that's of course debatable, he's at least worth talking about. Obviously it's fortuitous for Rondo that he happens to be able to dish primarily to Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Garnett, three future Hall of Famers, but Rondo is key in getting them their open looks.

We're just three games in, but Rondo is already putting a historical stamp on this season. He won't keep the pace for the entire 82, but for now, looking at 16.6 apg is pretty fun.
Posted on: October 27, 2010 10:53 am
Edited on: October 27, 2010 1:16 pm
 

The Game Changer 10.27.10

Blake the hero, Ray Allen the alone, and Steve Nash is a sad panda in  the debut of the Game Changer.
Posted by Matt Moore


Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: Celtics Down Heat 88-80


We've already told you about what the Heat did wrong in frames . But if we look back at the Celtics' 88-80 win over the Heat, we need to examine the real cause for the first of what will likely be many downfalls for this Heat team as they figure out how to play together: the Celtics' excellence in execution. Boston brought their A-Game last night, and their comfort with one another was evident from the get-go. That was most evident when we look back at the game flow of rotations and see that Boston ran off a 7-0 run with Nate Robinson, Marquis Daniels, Paul Pierce, Glen Davis, and Jermaine O'Neal. That's a astarter and four backups running off seven on a rotation for the Heat that featured Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, and for a solid minute and a half, LeBron James as well. Another thing to take note of is that Ray Allen wound up with a -2 for the night in plus/minus. Now, that's largely because he was on the floor for the Heat's big run in the second half, and the Celtics wouldn't have won without his clutch threes. but if we're looking at how Boston was succesful, it was with big lineups that bruised Miami inside and worked their way to the line.

Boston's defense was everywhere and threw in a few more wrinkles. Typically the Boston defense rotates to challenge the pick and roll high, at the elbow or mid-post. But the Celtics, knowing James is too fast to attack at that point, chose to put the stop on James right at the rim, leading to two misses and a charge. And it wasn't just James that found a hard time at the rim. Boston collapsed in on any attempt by the Heat to get point inside. And how did Miami respond? The Heat took 50 jumpers to Boston's 38. Pretty much, Boston attacked the Heat in high efficiency areas and forced them to take low-percentage shots. And the Heat just kind of... went with it. And instead of recognizing that approach wasn't working, they just shot more contested jumpers.

On offense? Boston did what it does. Rondo's distribution, being able to drive and kick, and skip-rotate to open jumpers on the far side of the floor, set the tone for the Celtics. When you've got the kinds of weapons the Celtics do, and the Heat were supposed to have, and a distributor, things get much easier. Glen Davis was huge for the C's, with 13 points and 5 rebounds on 6 of 7 shooting. The Drunken Seal was simply hitting from everywhere, including his patented falling reverse. The Heat? They had no one of that ilk, and it showed.

The Heat's defense actually wasn't terrible, until right about when their offense showed up. They started to hit shots, then started allowing Boston to trade buckets. If it wasn't for Boston's turnovers, the gap could have been much bigger. Want the biggest indication of how out of whack Boston made Miami? The team that was supposed to get out and run constantly in order to help their super-talented athletes be themselves, had fewer transition attempts than Boston, 10 for the Heat to 12 for the C's.  Boston does a great job of attacking just long enough on the rebound, even if they've already lost the board, to prevent th break. There are no outlet passes. You're just happy to have the ball.

Problem for the Heat? They didn't have anything they could do with it once they got it.

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Luis Scola: 18 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 4 turnovers, 7-18 shooting, +7 plus/minus

FRAMED FAILURE:


Hey, look Miami. It's okay. You have a lot to learn together. You need to work on so much to get in your rhythm. And Boston just hit a bunch of tough shots. I mean, what could you have done? Outside of, you know, not allowing Ray Allen to be wide freaking open :












Soundbyte Mania:

Steve Nash after the game on where the Suns are and how things are looking after their loss to the Blazers last night 106-92. Via Ben Golliver.



HERO OF THE DAY:


The Lakers needed something big. Steve Blake delivered from downtown. This is what happens when you're a member of the Lakers. Then, Blake goes to the other end and gets the key stop on Aaron Brooks, who decided to try and force something up even though he's not big enough to ride Space Mountain.




Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.

Posted on: October 27, 2010 2:34 am
Edited on: October 27, 2010 11:40 am
 

Heat become Cavaliers II against Celtics

We break down how the Heat's spacing failed and how the Celtics' defense made LeBron James settle, frame by frame.
Posted by Matt Moore


It was supposed to be different, right from the start. Even with the newness, it wasn't supposed to look or feel like last year. But with his team down to a superior defensive team on the road, and struggling offensively, it was just as it's always been . LeBron James had to take over, had to run point, had to do everything, leading to a defensive adjustment to shut him down and another struggling result. Part of the reason? Too often poor spacing on the part of the Heat, a hallmark for his Cleveland teams on offense, lead to James taking ridiculous contested shots.

Like, oh, say this one.

ENTER THE DRAGON. WITH HIS HEAD DOWN.




James dribbles up court and this is what he meets. Four defenders all out to meet him. They're not concerned with his screen man, they're not concerned with his shooters, they'e just eyeing James. Any attempt to reset this offense and stretch things out might improve spacing, but then again, the Celtics have been killing the Heat with their abilty to cover the entire floor all night. James elects to try and make something happen.

I THINK THEY ARE ON TO YOUR CLEVER RUSE.




As James come off the screen, you'll notice there are four Heat players within ten feet of each other, all at the top of the key. Pierce spins around his screen man, abandoning him to stay in front of James on the drive. James rolls high but doesn't attack the wing, instead, pausing at the top. As you see here, there is now a complete green wall between him and the basket and the lone shooter in the corner, Wade, is meaningless, and his defender, Ray Allen, knows it, leaving him relatively open. The ball's not coming to him.

SURE, THIS IS A GOOD IDEA.



James' roll man just stops, not rolling baseline to where you'll notice, THERE IS NO ONE, and just stands there. Three Celtics defenders are waiting on him and if he tries to spot up, they'll be right there to contest. James elects to rise and fire. But hey, it's an eight point game and he's the best player in basketball. Surely this ends well.

OH.



Well, then, at least you didn't leave 16 seconds on the clock you could have used to get a better shot in a three-possession game and you had rebounders. Or, you didn't. Bosh fails to grab the loose ball, and it goes out on him, Celtics get the ball up 8 with 1:58 to go.

Rough.

Don't get me wrong, there were several insane-o moves from James all night. (See 1:58 in this clip for reference .) But the same problems exist and when you don't have spacing and you don't have guys that will knock down shots, you're in trouble. And players like Eddie House weren't knocking down anything down anywhere. Here's House's shot chart from our CBSSports.com Game Tracker :



When that's your help? You're not in good shape. But half the time, they weren't even getting to that point, as constantly the Celtics turned the Heat into a one-man show. And while James is simply good enough to make you pay some of the time, it's not a sustainable strategy . And that's what you have to have against the Celtics, that's what you have to have in the playoffs. A strategy and scheme that will fail a lower percentage of the time on average than it will succeed. There's no Magic formula of talent that will overcome the percentages the Celtics make you play with bad shots, contested, in bad situations.

This was because the Heat haven't played together. It's because they need to learn one another. It's because Wade was rusty as all get out and the team was nervous. But it was also because the Heat played right into the Celtics' hands. And that's why they walked away losers on their hyped debut.

For more on the game, check out Ken Berger's discussion of how far the Heat are from the glitter and lights of their formation, live from Boston.

Posted on: October 27, 2010 12:44 am
Edited on: October 27, 2010 10:54 am
 

Video: Wade, James speak after Heat loss

Video: Wade, James speak about loss to Celtics in season opener after poor shooting performance.
Posted by Matt Moore

Well, if the first game is any indication, Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, and those Bulls can put the champagne on ice. The Celtics dismantled the Big 3 on Tuesday night to start the much-hyped team off to a rocky start. For the Celtics, it was business as usual, holding the Heat defensively to abysmal numbers and getting easy buckets at will. A late comeback was for naught, and now the Heat get another new experience. Explaining losses for a team that's never supposed to lose due to their talent. CBSSports.com was there and in this video, we get Dwyane Wade and LeBron James' comments on the loss.




Posted on: October 26, 2010 8:49 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 9:04 pm
 

Celtics dominating Heat at half 47-30

Celtics dominating Heat at the half.
Posted by Matt Moore

There are ways the first half could have gone worse for the Miami Heat. A scaffold falling on LeBron James. The earth opening beneath their feet and hell swallowing them whole. A Carrot Top appearance. That's pretty much it. The quick hits.

Miami is shooting 27% from the field. They have a 63.8 efficiency mark (should be at or around 100 for average). The Miami Triad are 7 of 27 and they are down by 17 points at the half to the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Boston is constantly shutting off lanes for the Heat, and the Heat, in turn, are settling. All jumpers, all the time, that's their approach. And that's just what the Celtics want.

The Celtics are playing their game. Rondo is wheeling and dealing, Kevin Garnett got a nice move on Haslem in the post. Ray Allen's jumper is still brilliant. And the Celtics are all over the Heat. The Heat have no pick and roll action, no movement. The Celtics look sharp, look active, and look primed for the kill. Glen Davis, the Drunken Seal, is absolutely killing it off the bench with 4 points, 3 rebounds, and a block off the bench. Shaq got way too many possessions early and wasted too many of them,  but does have 6 ponits and 6 boards, and the Celtics don't need much more from him.

The Celtics don't need much at all, actually.

Follow our RunBlog of the game tonight here . Follow us on Twitter at @cbssportsnba .
Posted on: October 18, 2010 9:48 am
 

Shootaround 10.18.10: Turkaboooooo

Posted by Royce Young
  • Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star: "A fan held up a sign that summed up the purpose of an otherwise uneventful preseason walk-around: 'TURKABOO,' was the message. The rabble wasn’t exactly in midseason form, even if the Raptors pulled off a 121-100 win. ('(The booing) wasn’t as bad as Vancouver,' said Steve Nash, Turkoglu’s newly-minted teammate, speaking of the reaction of the West Coast throng that took in a Raptors-Suns exhibition 11 days previous). But Turkoglu reacted exactly as you might have expected. He openly laughed. He actually applauded the crowd during the player introductions. He even led the chorus at one point, checking in at the scorer’s table while expelling a long, 'Booooooooo!' In other words, he acted as though he didn’t care -- which is exactly how he played."
  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe: "The rejuvenation of Celtics forward Kevin Garnett has been apparent since the beginning of training camp. He leaps with ease. He sprints down the floor and soars for rebounds with no fear about his surgically repaired right knee. ... One of the more important priorities for the Celtics in camp was to rebuild the confidence and increase the production of Garnett, who was healthy last season but still was favoring the knee.
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward ranks the pick-and-roll combos: "2. Baron Davis-Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers: This could be terrifying, and it really depends on how hard Baron Davis feels like working this season and if he can kick the habit of taking awful three-pointers off the bounce. Griffin could emerge as something like Stoudemire as a violent roll threat. Even in the preseason, he’s slipping screens and darting down the lane like Amar’e, and he has the athleticism and strength to finish with authority. He is going to have a highlight screen-and-roll finish every night, and he looks to have a good enough jumper to get your attention on the pick-and-pop."
  • Do the Hornets have more talent than the Bucks? And can they repeat what Milwaukee did last season? Michael McNamara of Hornets247 says so: "So across the board the Hornets have more talent than those Milwaukee Bucks and yet the perception around the country is that it is doubtful the Hornets will produce superior results. Why is that? It has to be because there has been no evidence to support the belief that the Hornets can play with that level of discipline, that level of heart, and that level of tenacity. It is because nobody knows what to expect from Monty Williams and his system. It is because people assume that at the end of the day it is talent and talent alone that wins basketball games."
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com