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NBA: Don't forget Garnett

Published April 6, 2008 1:46 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With most of the MVP talk focusing on Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Chris Paul, nobody in Boston can figure out why Kevin Garnett is not getting more support. The Celtics won 24 games last season. They could win 65 this year. "The whole face of Celtic nation turned around when the trade happened [for] this guy," said Paul Pierce. "Everyone talks about the MVP and they talk about numbers, but this guy has changed the whole culture around here and I think that says a lot. The mentality - everything - has changed from a year ago."

NEW YORK KNICKS

Tank-you, very much

The Knicks can't "catch" Miami, but they could still finish with the second-worst record in the league, which would translate into more Ping-Pong balls in the draft lottery. Embattled coach Isiah Thomas, who has been using some curious lineups lately, didn't exactly deny accusations that winning has become a low priority: "I believe most organizations around this time - when there is absolutely no possibility of making the playoffs - start looking toward the future, just as we are. You start playing younger players, . . . players you want to get a better look at."

HOUSTON ROCKETS

Loren's excellent adventure

Three weeks ago, Loren Woods was playing professionally in Turkey. Last week, he signed a 10-day contract with the Rockets. Woods became available after the U.S. State Department issued a safety warning for Americans traveling to Serbia. He decided not to accompany his team to a scheduled road game in that country, which angered the GM of his Turkish team, who released Woods. "I didn't plan on this happening," he said. "My plans were to finish everything up in Turkey, come home and go back over. But this opportunity came up and I had to jump on it."

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

Joel Pryzbilla grabbed 26 rebounds against the Clippers last week. "It happens once in awhile, where every rebound just seems to land in your hands," he said. Pryzbilla was the ninth pick in the 2000 draft, but his career had been a bust until he signed a modest two-year, $2.2 million contract with the Blazers in 2004. In Portland, Pryzbilla established himself and, despite offers from San Antonio and Detroit, loyalty led him to re-sign with the Blazers in 2006 for five years and $32 million. "Sometimes," he said, "the grass isn't greener on the other side."

James, Clev. 70 751 516 2126 30.4

Bryant, LAL 76 731 577 2175 28.6

Iverson, Den. 75 653 596 1989 26.5

Anthony, Den. 70 651 433 1782 25.5

Stdmire, Phoe. 73 656 515 1832 25.1

Nowitzki, Dall. 71 575 453 1670 23.5

Martin, Sac. 57 390 458 1340 23.5

Biedrins, G.S. 302 484 .624

Chandler, N.O. 345 560 .616

Howard, Orl. 545 910 .599

O'Neal, Phoe. 302 512 .590

Stoudemire, Phoe. 656 1116 .588

Childress, Atl. 308 530 .581

Howard, Orl. 75 262 822 1084 14.5

Camby, Den. 72 212 742 954 13.3

Chandler, N.O. 72 303 557 860 11.9

Duncan, S.A. 72 221 605 826 11.5

Jefferson, Minn. 75 288 556 844 11.3

Okafor, Char. 76 241 570 811 10.7

Boozer, Utah 76 190 616 806 10.6

Paul, N.O. 73 836 11.5

Nash, Phoe. 75 842 11.2

Williams, Utah 77 812 10.5

Kidd, Dall. 74 754 10.2

Calderon, Tor. 76 629 8.3

Davis, G.S. 76 576 7.6

James, Clev. 70 508 7.3