Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where Deferring Happens

CelticsBlog today is accepting KG's "flaw of unselfishness" that Britt Robson elucidated upon after the T-Wolves game. I'm gonna disagree with Jeff at CB and say that KG's constant offensive deferring could well be the Celtics' demise come the playoffs. As Robson pointed out, KG is all too happy to let his teammates shoot away - even when Garnett should be the one taking control offensively. Like I have said time and time again, I am thrilled with KG, and his defensive brilliance this year has almost always made up for any offensive passiveness. But all the same, we all would like KG to take the lead more with the ball in his hands. It is one thing if he is just so gassed from his defense that he can't do it on the other end - but usually that doesn't seem to be the case. Instead it is just that KG's unselfishness is so ingrained that he is perfectly willing to let inferior teammates take over. Ultimately this can be costly.

The criticism of KG's excessive modesty has been constant throughout his career, and indeed is why many regard him as maybe the ideal #2 guy of all time. Obviously KG has always been the main piece - but it is so easy to see him as "the world's greatest complementary player" because of how he plays. KG's lack of forcefulness is often amazingly positive - but its faults can appear in the worst possible times. You surely cannot tell me that Tim Duncan would have only gotten past the first round of the playoffs once if he had been in Garnett's shoes. So while KG is perfectly willing to step up, the fact that he is just as willing to defer makes him atypical from most great players we can compare him to. Here's hoping he enforces more personal control on the offense when he gets fully healthy - but we shouldn't necessarily be expecting it.

5 comments:

Tim said...

Kelly Dwyer weighs in -
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/nba_experts/post/KG-rsquo-s-unselfishness?urn=nba,64168

carbs said...

I think the problem with his unselfishness is exacerbated with the current team structure. When you have a purportedly dynamic shooter like Ray and the unfettered physical scoring of Paul, the natural reaction is to defer to them. However, KG seems to entrench that mindset so when Paul and Ray are on the bench, he does the same thing with the second unit.

Also, I think his propensity to defer expands during the game. It seems (without research) that KG plays offense rather aggressively in the beginning of the game and falls out of it later. That may give credence to your notion that he is too gassed at the end to give offense his all.

Anonymous said...

If Tim Duncan had the teammates around KG has had most of his career I think I could tell you that their would be alot of 1st round exits as well. Timberwolves teams are not even close to the talent that Spurs have had.

The Brick said...

You're seeing this year what Duncan can do with a subpar group around him. Spurs are struggling mightily.

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