Kevin Garnett keeps it real, doesn’t believe Boston Celtics are contenders

Oct 29, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Kevin Garnett (2) during the fourth quarter of Boston's 121-105 win at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 29, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Kevin Garnett (2) during the fourth quarter of Boston's 121-105 win at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics enter the 2022-23 NBA season as favorites to win the NBA Finals and with the way they have looked in the preseason, no one can dispute that.  Well, Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett is pumping the breaks on his former team.

During an episode of SHOWTIME Basketball’s “Certified Smoke,” Garnett broke the hearts of Celtics fans with a little dose of reality and why he isn’t buying the hype that the defending Eastern Conference champions are the favorites in the East.

Is Garnett being real or is he just blowing some smoke to further motivate Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the C’s current big men?

Anything is possible when it comes to Garnett, but he certainly doesn’t hold back.

Kevin Garnett believes the absence Boston Celtics center Robert Williams is huge

While anything is possible, Garnett points at the absence of Robert Williams as a major factor why he has the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and even Cleveland Cavaliers ahead of the Boston Celtics.

"“No,” Garnett told Paul Pierce on the episode, as transcribed by NESN.  “I actually wanna put Cleveland ahead of Boston.  Cause, you know why?  Robert Williams been out but man is a huge piece.  He save so much with just lob work and rebounding and blocked shots, that I don’t see nobody actually filling that void.  Like the guard play is solid.  The guard play is solid.”"

It is hard to disagree with that assessment by Garnett since the Celtics have been basically unbeatable when Williams is out there on the court.  The problem he does have an injury history that has limited his time on the court.  Celtics fans saw that during the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.  When he was able to play extensive minutes, the Celtics held the advantage.

So, even with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White rounding out what is as good as a guard/wing group if not the best in the NBA, the old school big man believes it is the lack of front court depth that can and will get in the way of the team’s championship hopes.

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With that said, Robert Williams will ultimately be back, but the Celtics are relying on Al Horford, an undersized Grant Williams, Blake Griffin and the combination of Luke Kornet and Noah Vonleh to carry the team until Rob Williams returns.

In the early part of the NBA season, that may be enough, but eventually Garnett believes the Celtics will need more size and a viable big man even when the talented center returns.

Boston Celtics will need another big man to fulfill NBA championship hopes

What about either Dwight Howard and Demarcus Cousins?

When co-host Matt Barnes and Pierce brought up the idea of signing one of the veteran big men, Garnett answered with a blunt response.

"“I’ll sign both of ‘em mother (expletives),” Garnett said."

While Cousins would be intriguing, the Boston Celtics do have to consider bringing in players who will add to the chemistry no matter what position.  Both of those players come with baggage so there would have to be a buy in and a commitment to team basketball.  No one knows that better than Garnett who was the front court presence who complimented Paul Pierce and Ray Allen so nicely during that 2008 championship season.

Next. Noah Vonleh winning a spot on a Finals contending roster. dark

When healthy, Robert Williams is that player.  The problem is, he is sitting on the sidelines more than he is leaping up for lobs and blocking shots.  If the Boston Celtics want to fulfill that hunger of winning a title, another reliable big man is a need.

Whether its Cousins, Howard or some trade no one sees coming, the Celtics will need to think big to win big.