This was evident again in Game 3. While Rondo single-handedly outplayed the Sixers' entire backcourt, scoring 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting and handing out 14 of the Celtics' 26 assists, Garnett was as efficient as ever, shooting 12 for 17 from the field for 27 points and 13 rebounds.
Through three playoff games against the Sixers, Garnett is averaging 23.7 points while shooting 63.3 percent (31 for 49) from the field. He's also averaging 12 rebounds per game against the Sixers.
During the regular season, in which the Sixers won two of the three meetings, Garnett averaged 16 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
We should all age so gracefully.
"He's a great player," the Sixers' Thaddeus Young said. "He's a guy who's going to go out there and do the dirty work and play hard all the time. He's going to motivate his team. That's what he's been doing the whole season and he's just cranked it up to another level in this whole playoff series."
Garnett's numbers for the series would be even more ominous had his teammates not seemed to have forgotten him in Game 2. In his worst game of the series, an 82-81 Boston loss, Garnet attempted just 12 shots, yet still finished with a double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds).
His play around the basket and his defensive rebounding (all 13 of his boards on Tuesday were at the defensive end) allowed the Celtics to get out on the break - something that was supposed to be a Sixers advantage. As a result the Celtics won the points-in-the-paint battle on Tuesday by 50-38.
Whether it is Hawes, Young, Elton Brand, or rookie Lavoy Allen, Garnett poses a problem for the Sixers for a number of reasons. They want to keep Garnett, the Celtics' best offensive rebounder, off the glass. Garnett is so good at collecting long rebounds and stepping out to hit the short- to medium-range jumper, however, that he makes the Sixers pay for their strategy.
"He's a great player and he's doing what he's always done," Young said. "You don't really stop what he does. We have got to come out and play with more energy and play better defense. But you don't stop him."
If they don't, this ride could soon be over.
Contact John N. Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JmitchInquirer.