Celtics coach Doc Rivers has long been a proponent of limiting Kevin Garnett‘s minutes to keep the big man fresh throughout the season as the 18-year veteran logs more and more wear on his 36-year-old body.
As Rivers explained Friday night after the Celtics held on to beat the Thunder 108-100, it’s not so much that he doesn’t like to play Garnett beyond his minutes total. The Celtics coach says his view is that he can’t.
“[Garnett is] like a cellphone that you buy at the 7-Eleven,” Rivers said, according to ESPNBoston.com. “You’ve got 32 minutes, and if you went 33, then the phone would have been dead. We had to manage his minutes.”
Boston could have used a little more Garnett in Friday’s game, as Oklahoma City put together some decent spurts and took advantage of some personnel matchups on the court with Garnett out. But Rivers, who is just 13 games into a season that he plans to make stretch well into the postseason, doesn’t want any fiddling with Garnett’s predetermined minutes total — and that’s why he’s giving it such a hard-line approach.
Chances are that Garnett won’t plop down on the floor and fold up if he goes over his minutes mark, but the metaphor is fitting for the situation, no matter how clunky it may make as a new nickname for The Big Ticket.