Kevin Garnett is back, folks. The real Kevin Garnett. The one who led the Boston Celtics to their 17th championship back during the 2007-08 season.

The one who can make grown men cry.

Let’s face it: Garnett wasn’t the same the last two seasons, and the Celtics were forced to watch the Lakers hoist two more trophies, one at their expense. This time, though, a healthy Garnett changes things.

Through 69 games last year, Garnett recorded 10 double-doubles. He has matched that total in just 20 games this season, highlighted by his 20-point, 17-rebound performance last Friday against the Bulls.

If you’re a fan of the plus/minus stat, you’ll be happy to know that Garnett leads the team with a plus-214. Translation: The Celts have outscored opponents by 214 points with him on the court.

He’s averaging a hair under 10 rebounds a game, while scoring 15.6 a contest. Last season, he could only muster up 7.3 rebounds per game, his lowest since his rookie year.

The difference this year is that he’s getting up above the rim for boards, something he couldn’t do in 2009-10 coming back from knee surgery.

Garnett has always been the vocal leader of the C’s, especially on the court. His defensive intensity is something the team thrives off of, while opponents cringe just thinking about it.

The C’s will need that defense tonight with Denver coming to town. The Nuggets average 106 ppg.

Short turnover no picnic

Tonight’s Celtics game against Denver marks the beginning of their sixth set of back-to-back games this season.

The short rest — and often travel — in between the games isn’t exactly easy.

Two of the C’s four losses this season have come in the second leg of back-to-back sets. They lost at Cleveland on Oct. 27 and at Dallas on Nov. 8.

But they won the second of two consecutive games Nov. 3 against Milwaukee, Nov. 22 at Atlanta and Dec. 1 against Portland.

Boston is at Philadelphia tomorrow.