Kevin Garnett Shrugs Off Celtics’ 9-6 Mark Since Dealing Kendrick Perkins

March 25, 2011 – 8:00 am by Eric Schmoldt

The Boston Celtics players were clearly stunned when Kendrick Perkins was dealt at the trade deadline to Oklahoma City. In some ways, it appears they haven’t particularly recovered.

The Celtics are just 9-6 in the 15 games since Perkins departed the team. It’s not a horrendous record given a small sample size, but for a team that has lost just 20 games in 70 games so far this season, it’s hard to overlook. They’ve even lost five of their last nine games, including their game against Memphis on Wednesday.

However, All-Star forward Kevin Garnett doesn’t seem that worried. He points to the fact that the Celtics have been missing Shaquille and Jermaine O’Neal as just as big of a contributing factor to the struggles. When they get those two back, where do you think they rank in terms of toughest out in the East?

Kevin Garnett joined WEEI in Boston with the Mut and Merloni to discuss Doc Rivers calling the team soft, playing without Kendrick Perkins, the toughness of Boston’s team, how the team changes when Shaq comes back and if he needs to play significant minutes to prepare for the playoffs.

What was it like for Doc Rivers to call he and his teammates soft?:

“That really wasn’t cool at all, but Doc has a way of motivating us in more than one way. He knows how to push buttons and get guys to respond. … If he has something to say to you individually, he’ll say it … but I don’t think there was a guy in the locker room that was feeling that. We told him after the game, ‘Don’t ever say nothing like that ever again.’”

Has the team gotten used to playing without Kendrick Perkins?:

“That’s the reality part of it. … As much as it does hurt, as much as you are emotionally attached, you’ve got to get over it. … From that standpoint, I think we’ve all been doing that.”

On analyst Chris Broussard saying the team isn’t as tough without Perkins:

“Just because a person says he’s an expert doesn’t mean he’s an expert. He has an opinion. … People fail to realize that Perk was one of the parts of our team that made us really, really good, that made us tough. … With Perk, we had a style of play that works with us. … We’re a similar firm team, but what you’ve got to (under)stand is we’re playing without [Shaq] and we’re playing without [Jermaine O'Neal].”

How does the team change when Shaq comes back?:

“It changes dramatically. You have not only a post presence, but a presence, period. Shaq is physical on both ends. … I think a lot of people are not really paying attention to J.O. JO has obviously been hurt, but he’s been a guy who’s led teams and can be a presence. You can’t teach experience and you can’t teach heart.”

Does Shaq need to get back and get some minutes under his belt?:

“If he played 45, 46, 48 minutes, I’d probably say he needs to get in a rhythm and everything. But he’s playing minimal minutes for us, probably 15, 20, 25 minutes. … It’s really basic to what Shaq’s going to do. He’s going to be in so many different positions, but it’s all going to be in the paint. … We’ve just got to give him the ball in his spots. We all know his game, we’ve all played with him. … We’re not really concerned about that.”

Listen to Kevin Garnett on WEEI in Boston here

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  1. 16 Responses to “Kevin Garnett Shrugs Off Celtics’ 9-6 Mark Since Dealing Kendrick Perkins”

  2. Since Perk was injured just about all season while still with the Cs, I’m not getting your “we won before with Perk and now we’re losing since trading Perk”.

    The Cs were winning without Perk. They attained that excellent record that you highlight without Perk. So I believe their current losing (if you call going 9-6 for their last 15 games “losing”) has more to do with trying to integrate new players into the team as well as the “dog days of March/April” factor.

    I think better quality teams tend to get sick and tired of this LONG regular season and can’t wait for the playoffs to start in mid-April. And that’s what may be affecting Rondo and Pierce during recent games during which they barely appeared on the stat chart.

    By andre on Mar 25, 2011

  3. Time to get rid of Danny Ainge and Howard Stern the low life commissioner. All these technicals are a joke.

    By John on Mar 25, 2011

  4. Well said Andre.

    By linc on Mar 25, 2011

  5. the celtics are a winning team they just need to get rid of people like DANNY A.RONDO ,Pierce, KG, SHAQ, JO and the rest of the C’S, all of them will show up for the play off trust me they will

    By MICHAEL on Mar 25, 2011

  6. It’s a long season and adjustments are being made. No need to get more people injured since we are in the playoff scene. When push comes to shove we’ll see a radically diferent C’s on the floor. #18 IS READY FOR CELTIC TIME.

    By Lemmy on Mar 25, 2011

  7. In other words, they cried after Perkins left just like Miami Heat cried. Doc Rivers was right the Celtics are soft.

    By Steven A Smith on Mar 25, 2011

  8. The absence of Von Wafer is hurting the Celtics tremendously, but nobody seems to be mentioning that.

    By Gary D. on Mar 25, 2011

  9. Chicago’s been able to sit it’s starters for the last couple games during the fourth quarters. Boston should be doing the same but they’ve had to fight hard for most of there wins. Most teams always bring there A-game when they play the men in green. I’m worried that if Boston doesn’t get the first seed they’ll be tired by the time they get to the finals, if they get to the finals…

    By Casey Taylor on Mar 25, 2011

  10. If they can sweep a first or second round series, it’s the only way I can see them winning it all. These Vet’s need to rest up and turn it on when it really matters

    By Casey Taylor on Mar 25, 2011

  11. Did you forget what happened last year in the playoffs after winning only 50 regular season games and playing on the road after the first round? Right now they’re one game behind Chicago with 12 games to go.

    By Tim on Mar 25, 2011

  12. Too many men hold their pain inside and it shows up in other ways some where along the way. The Heat got beat in a frigging game, The Celtics “lost” a dear friend. There is no team as close as they are. How dare you call them soft because they showed their pain. This just shows me you are not a true Celtic fan. You are dimissed.

    By Minnie Wesbee on Mar 26, 2011

  13. Pau Gasol called, said to tell KG he can keep the “soft” label for a few more months.

    http://www.nba.com/video/games/celtics/2011/03/25/0021001070_cha_bos_play4.nba/

    By ByeByeBoston on Mar 26, 2011

  14. Shaq needs to lose some weight to make him unstoppable again!

    By Ryan on Mar 27, 2011

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