Kevin Garnett refuses to go out quietly.
We all know that Garnett has made plenty of noise on the court over the years -- literally and figuratively -- but what he's doing now at this age needs to be properly documented. A week ahead of his 36th birthday, Garnett did something Thursday in Game 6 against the Atlanta Hawks that we haven't seen in almost a half-century: a Celtics player tallying 28 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks in a playoff game.
Not Kevin McHale, not Larry Bird, not even Robert Parish have ever pulled off the feat. But that's not the only monster game Garnett's had so far in the playoffs. With a 23.8 player efficiency rating here in the postseason and top-notch defense that rarely gets picked up in the box score, there probably isn't a better two-way big man left standing.
Actually, the more we look at the numbers, the Celtics' battered state of affairs and his overall contributions, a case can be made that he has been the most irreplaceable player in the postseason.