Kevin Garnett Finals interview
The Boston Celtics lead the Los Angeles Lakers 1-0 in the best-of-seven 2008 NBA Finals. Here's what Celtics star power forward Kevin Garnett said to reporters on Saturday, the day before Game 2 will be played in Boston.
Q. Just wanted to ask you about that moment in Game 1 when Paul had just been carried off the court and you guys were sitting in that huddle, and the message that Doc seemed to convey to you guys, what was that that you took back out on the court?
Kevin Garnett: To continue to be aggressive and not worry about the things that we can't control, continue to keep our focus. That was pretty much what it was.
But it's pretty hard watching your teammate go off like that, to be honest.
Q. Just as a follow up, it seemed like you guys were able to extend the lead in his absence. Were you heartened by the way the team responded in his absence? And do you think you can sustain that in Game 2?
Kevin Garnett: Well, you're heartened you're motivated because of your worst nightmare are the things that you think, however you saw it, it encourages you to be a lot more aggressive. We didn't know if he was going to be able to come back, first off. We didn't know how serious it was. So I think myself, Ray and the other guys that was out there, we were just trying to pick it up a little bit.
It looked like today he looked fine, but Paul has played through numerous injuries this year that you guys probably didn't have any idea about. But obviously this is significant. We're in June now, the body has been beat up a lot more, but for him to come out and finish the game off in the way he finished it was enlightening, enlightened everybody on our team and then heightened everybody's energy. That's probably why I couldn't make a basket in the fourth quarter. But it was good, man, it was positive all the way through.
Q. You did talk after the game about being unhappy with your fourth quarter and you said that you will do better in the next game. Now that you've had a couple days to think about it, what do you think about what you can do in the next game differently or better?
Kevin Garnett: Well, team wise, man, I thought our communication was pretty solid. We got a system with that. The defense has to be a consistent thing, can't fall back on that. We also have to realize that after Game 2, we have three games out on the west coast and probably puts even more significance on Game 2 and getting it, and also defending home court.
But for myself, repetition, repetition, get shots up, continue to work on mechanics and that stuff, not to go away from being aggressive, stay aggressive. That's pretty much it.
Q. How important is it to you that if especially Paul or Kendrick aren't able to play and be 100 percent that you can be there for your teammates and step up and put in more of a performance?
Kevin Garnett: I think anybody that comes in and fills those positions, whether it's Pose or whether it's Leon or whoever, PJ, it obviously falls on everybody. But to make plays and put guys in positions to where they can be successful is part of the responsibility for us with Ray and our play makers. Whether they play or don't play, I think the mindset needs to be consistent with myself and some of the other guys who make plays for others, and that's the way it is.
Q. What was your relationship like with Dwane Casey, and what do you think is his name has been coming up in Chicago and some other places. What do you think about his potential to come back? And do you guys keep up much?
Kevin Garnett: I haven't talked to Coach Casey in a while. When I was with him, he was consistent with hard work. I felt like he never really enjoyed the fact that he was a head coach. Maybe for management he was feeling pressure or whatever it was, but he just always worked. That's the one thing that I can't take away from him, that his work ethic was totally above average. His preparation, how he prepared for games and how he had us ready was always consistent. I always looked at him like a real motivating coach. I just thought at times just never really enjoyed it like I thought he should.
But for the most part, man, you want a coach that's going to be able to motivate guys, but at the same time have a work ethic and actually knows what he's doing. So it doesn't surprise me that his name is out there.
Q. And as focused as you are, how tough is it now in The Finals to keep your focus when you've got family, friends, everybody wants to be a part of The Finals, tickets?
Kevin Garnett: I don't have that problem. I let people know from the playoff start, this is what it is. If you don't like it, beat it. I don't have a problem with it and how it is. People understand when it's playoff time or when it's anything dealing with me, this is how it's going to be, and if you don't like it, then remove yourself.