Passing Fancy - KG’s Triple Double Makes an Impression on Mates

BOSTON - After literally ducking into his postgame press conference (he's too tall for the doors in the back hallway of the TD Banknorth Garden), Kevin Garnett was excited just to see a chair, learning he'd get to sit down.

After all, a guy could use a break after dropping a triple-double.

Kevin Garnett in preseason vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Kevin Garnett slams it home for two during his impressive preseason triple-double against the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night.
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty

Seated and relaxed, Garnett took questions about his impressive preseason triple-double, which he said he wasn't even aware of until reporters mentioned it. Garnett poured in 21 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in 32 minutes of play as the Celtics pulled away from the Cleveland Cavaliers for a 114-89 win at the Garden Friday night.

KG says he doesn't count stats while he's on the floor, and it's hard to believe he'd have time anyway. He was too busy tearing down rebounds, in some cases one handed, or firing pinpoint passes out of the double team. And early in the fourth quarter, he apparently decided it was time to take over on the offensive end, scoring eight points in the first five minutes of the final stanza to help put the game out of reach.

But his scoring didn't impress nearly as much as his passing, none finer than his final assist, a Tom Brady bomb down the right sideline to a streaking Randy Moss, or actually, Eddie House, for an easy layup that put the Celtics up 27 points.

"I take a lot of pride in my passing," Garnett said. "I take a lot of pride in my IQ in basketball. It's something I've developed."

His teammates are still getting used to it. Paul Pierce said Garnett's the best passing big man he's played with, while Ray Allen didn't think it was a crazy notion that Garnett could get a triple-double every night.

"We're gonna go inside to Kevin a lot and their going to double him," Allen said. "We'll be right there on the perimeter waiting."

While discussing his passing ability, Garnett started exploring the possibilities of what he can create by moving the ball, and his response was telling in a number of ways.

"Assists for me means the ball is moving and that means I'm getting guys open shots," Garnett said. "The fact that I can get Paul Pierce, one of the elite players in the league, an open shot, and if I can get Ray Allen, who's an elite player in this league, an open shot, I can get Kendrick Perkins, who averages six or seven or points, 10 points or 15 points, that's what I do."

First off, he still seems to be a kid in a candy store when it comes to playing with Pierce and Allen. It's clear to Doc Rivers, who noted in his presser that Garnett has been passing the ball his whole career, but will probably end up averaging a few more this year simply because of who's on the receiving end.

While the subtext is that Garnett is obviously unsure about Perkins' scoring average -- last year Perk averaged 4.5 points per game last year -- the overall message is clear: Perk is going to be on the receiving end of several easy baskets a game.

Garnett assisted on Perkins first three hoops of the game, and scoring in the paint became the theme of the night. The Celtics outscored the Cavs 62-30 in the lane, something LeBron James said that teams "don't get in two or three games."

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