76ers Miss Opportunity with Garnett?
And, importantly, he (Jrue Holiday) drew the second foul on Kevin Garnett less than six minutes into the game, which the Celtics won 107-91 to take a 2-1 series lead.
Statistics support a hundred ways what is obvious to the naked eye: Garnett has become the epicenter of the Celtics. Starting at center and scoring like an All-Star — he made 12 of 17 shots on the night — hasn’t kept him from leading an elite defense, rebounding and appointing himself executive in charge of firing everybody up. The Celtics are vastly inferior when Garnett is on the bench.
Which is why the Sixers needed him on the bench as much as possible.
After Holiday hit his free throws, the Sixers had a tie game, a raucous crowd and more than 18 minutes of playing time left in the first half to try to send Garnett to the bench with his third foul.
And they didn’t try.
“We’re not a team that really does that,” 76ers coach Doug Collins said. “We’re not a really good post-up team. So it’s not like we can be really careful and say we’re going to get Garnett his third. And usually guys like that are pretty smart about picking those up.”