The NBA playoffs officially got underway on Saturday afternoon when the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets tipped off at the Air Canada Centre.
Before the season, the Nets decided to go “all in” by trading for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics (and Jason Terry, too, but he was dealt to the Sacramento Kings for Marcus Thornton).
The Nets had to give Garnett and Pierce adequate rest throughout the season in order to keep them healthy in the postseason. Pierce has played very well as of late, but Garnett has struggled through injuries and missed 28 games this season.
Although Garnett was limited to just nine minutes in the first half, he was at the center of attention. Garnett hit Raptors’ point guard Kyle Lowry after the whistle was blown and he was called for a technical foul. Just a few plays later, Raptors’ big man Jonas Valanciunas tried to take Garnett off of the dribble and the 37-year old was having none of it.
The Nets lead 50-46 at the half.
(H/T to Matt Moore of CBS Sports’ Eye on Basketball)