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With the Boston Celtics one win away from the NBA Finals, it would be awfully tough not to attribute most of the credit to Rajon Rondo for the Celtics postseason play as well as their three wins in a row against the Miami Heat.

Mind you, a large part of Boston’s success also resides on the square shoulders of the Big Ticket.

Kevin Garnett has submitted postseason averages of 19.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, which are eerily similar to his 2008 playoff averages when the Celtics last won the title. But Garnett’s contribution isn’t just about numbers; it’s about impact.

Consider this stat: with KG on the bench in the postseason, Boston is minus-26.7 per 48 minutes; and with him on the floor, the Celtics are plus-12 per 48 minutes. That’s a huge differential.

But what does KG bring to the table that is apparently so invaluable?

One could point to the intangibles, the trash talk, the leadership and fiery intensity that he plays with, but those are rather subjective. Instead, we can focus on things that the Big Ticket does on the court to help his team accumulate wins.

Indeed, it was thought that his best days were behind him, but his play so far in the 2012 playoffs certainly seems to indicate otherwise. Garnett had become — and to some extent still is — a jump shooter for most of the regular season, camping out at the top of the key to bury long two-point jumpers. Gone were the days of him going down on the low block and punishing defenders with hook shots, turnaround jumpers and drop steps for finishes at the rim.

Instead, fans were treated to a stationary KG that hit perimeter shots off of drives and kicks and occasionally missed dunks when he drove hard to the basket.

But the playoffs have brought us a rejuvenated Kevin Garnett.

He is rolling hard to the basket in the pick-and-roll for finishes and catches, he is posting up defenders and scoring on them regardless of the defensive adjustments, and he still making defenses pay for rotating off of him when he is on the perimeter by making open jumpers.

Also, Garnett contributes to his team’s offense by setting extremely hard screens and helping with ball movement by passing and cutting as opposed to remaining in one spot to watch things unfold.

On the other side of the ball, one could argue that Garnett has been the best defensive player of the postseason. The big man roams the paint and bumps cutters to prevent them from getting any easy catches at the rim and he also contests and even rejects a few shots, all the while avoiding fouling.

That’s the bare minimum that a coach would hope to get out of his defensive anchor. But KG isn’t your typical defensive anchor either.

Indeed, the former league MVP can do things that most couldn’t dream of given his size and position. Garnett has the foot speed as well as the long arms to come out and trap the pick-and-roll and then retreat to his man, he can also switch and guard perimeter players or simply come out to hedge hard on the ball handler and then retreat back to his man. Essentially, the Big Ticket is successful in covering the staple of every NBA offense, the pick-and-roll.

And keep in mind, Kevin Garnett has at times switched out on to the three-time league MVP in LeBron James and done an adequate job of defending him.

Those watching the series are being treated to the brilliant play of one of the best big men the league has ever seen.

Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo have been crucial to what the Celtics have done in the 2012 playoffs. Rondo has been the head of the snake, while Pierce has been the heart and pulse of the team one could say; but Garnett has been the glue. All the pieces fit perfectly together because the player once known as the Kid has made it as such.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have already taken out three previous NBA champions in the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs. The one veteran team with championship experience left for them to take out if the script were to hold up would have to be the Boston Celtics. Granted, the Miami Heat may still have a word to say about it all, but it sure seems as though things could potentially shake out to pit the new guard versus the old guard with the title on the line.

If that is the case, Kevin Garnett will surely have his word to say about it all…

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