Garnett’s return sparks carnival atmosphere

http://gty.im/110384986 One thing is for sure, Kevin Garnett is back in Minnesota and the Timberwolves fans are happy about it. Almost eight years after leaving Minnesota and moving to the Boston Celtics, Garnett took his career full circle by re-signing with the Timberwolves from the Brooklyn Nets on trade deadline day. If there had been any doubt of how the prodigal son’s return would be greeted by the Minnesota fans, those doubts were well and truly dismissed as the future Hall of Famer stepped back onto the court for his second debut at the Target Center. While this is a very different team to the one Garnett led to the Western Conference Finals 10 years ago, you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in 2005 as the Timberwolves fans created an electric atmosphere in order to welcome back one of their most successful players.

And it wasn’t just the electric atmosphere that reminded Minnesota of happier times, with Garnett producing one of his trademark rejections early on to kick off his second debut. While Garnett’s personal performance might not have been particularly spectacular – producing five points, eight rebounds, two assists and one block during his 19 minutes on court – the presence of the 38-year-old clearly played a role in the Timberwolves’ impressive display on their way to a 20-point victory over the Washington Wizards. The veteran might not be the same player he was when during his first spell with the Timberwolves but there is an argument to suggest that this Garnett brings something different to the team than he used to – playing more for the team than for himself. It seemed as both the Minnesota fans and players were all looking to show the returning hero what they were capable of, and if that atmosphere can continue between now and the end of the season then this will have been a successful deal for everyone involved.

As of yet, Garnett has refused to commit himself to the franchise beyond this season, although there is a good chance the veteran could be tempted to continue for another year should things go well during the rest of the regular season. The Timberwolves may be struggling in the Western Conference and well out of the thinking of betting fans, but there is still plenty to play for this year. While the playoffs might now be out of the question, Minnesota could be a different beast entirely if they can end this season well and take some momentum into next year. Garnett will certainly have a big role to play over the next few months, and while the press flocked to the 15-time All Star at the end of Minnesota’s 97-77 win over the Wizards, the returning hero was quick to pour praise on his team-mates for the victory. The day might have been all about Kevin Garnett, but it was Kevin Martin who went some way to stealing the show during a prolific second quarter, with the guard scoring 16 points on his way to a game high 28 points. http://gty.im/110384986

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