Is there any doubt that this man - along with Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen - are beating the Heat tonight to claim their third Eastern Conference championship in the last five seasons?
If there is, read this quote from Keyon Dooling from earlier in the season:
"He's incredible. I guarantee you if you did a poll of everybody who has played with Kevin Garnett, I guarantee you he would probably be 98% of people's favorite teammate. He is that guy. He's the glue. If somebody is not going well, he's the guy to pick him up. If there's a problem, he's the one to address it. If somebody needs to be taken up for, he's the one to do that, if there's a question that needs to be asked and somebody doesn't want to ask it, he does that. He is amazing … I guarantee you if you went around the locker room, everybody who has been around him, ask his former teammates, he is incredible, man. He is an incredible man. He should get awards every year for the man, the mentorship he gives to young guys, the work ethic that he shows them and instills in them. The camaraderie that he gives to the team. You know what I mean? The way he embraces everybody on the staff from the video coordinator to the masseuse. Kevin Garnett should be an ambassador. He is that kind of personality. He is amazing."
The thing about Kevin Garnett is that he gives guys like Dooling and Mickael Pietrus and Greg Stiemsma and Ryan Hollins the confidence to believe that they can contribute to a team that is five wins away from winning a ring. He accepts nothing less than the absolute best effort of his teammates but he also gives them everything he has on both ends of the floor. It must be nice for those Celtics tasked with guarding LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to know that Garnett is near the rim protecting the basket, taking away easy layups. It must be nice for the Celtics guards to know that when their path to the basket is blocked by one of the Heat forwards that Garnett is there to receive their escape pass and knock down an open jumper. It must be nice to be Doc Rivers and know that your team's leader is a win at all costs kind of guy who gives every ounce of effort he has every time he takes the floor.
I know that Rondo has been the most spectacular player on the floor in this series and that Pierce's three-pointer that was drained in James' face will probably be the most memorable play if (and that is still a huge IF) the Celtics win the series but Garnett's play, presence, and leadership make him the most valuable Celtic against the Heat.
There will be at least one moment tonight in which the Heat will take control of the game. It will be in that moment that the Boston Celtics will look to Kevin Garnett for a big play and as fans, knowing that the rest of the Celtics trust Garnett to come through when it is needed the most, it leads us to believe that the Celtics will close out the series tonight.