By Professor Fred Whitted NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — The title above...
Team now trying to re-incorporate KG back into the fold
BROOKLYN — The Brooklyn Nets didn’t do the New York Knicks or their fans any favors by losing to the Atlanta Hawks at home, 93-88. The Nets who played without Deron Williams and Shaun Livingstone also limited future Hall of Famer, Kevin Garnett to 18 minutes and fellow future HOF Inductee Paul Pierce played basically a very quiet 29 minutes.
One thing is for certain, teams in the NBA will not do other teams any favors unless they had some type of benefits to it.
Now the Nets have to be concerned about a possible match up against the Chicago Bulls. In last year’s Playoffs despite having home-court advantage the Bulls outlasted the Nets in seven games. They were also without Derrick Rose.
This season the Nets look entirely different. There is no Brook Lopez, due to injury and with Pierce and Garnett along with Livingstone there’s more talent. Not to mention the stellar job rookie center Mason Plumlee is doing. The Bulls are without Nate Robinson as Deng was lost from last year’s Playoffs also.
Jason Kidd also is new to the Nets’ Playoff party as last year at this time he was helping the Knicks to a 54 win season and capturing the Atlantic Division. Kidd who had serious early season troubles so much so that there were whispers that his job was in jeopardy has rebounded nicely and went on to win Coach of the Month twice thus far this his rookie season.
Now the real test is whether his coaching acumen translates to a deep run in this year’s Playoffs. These Nets are built to win today and now.
Garnett should be a big help in the Nets’ title run. It seems like forever since he last played; going out with back spasms. “He’s been great,” teammate Joe Johnson said regarding Garnett’s return. “He’s giving us everything he’s got in those minutes that he plays with: his leadership, making great passes, playing great defense and keeping guys in the right spots. He’s been doing it all year.”
Since returning to the lineup 3 games ago, Garnett has averaged 6.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists on 64.3 percent shooting in 16 minutes.
“I think he looks great,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said. “I think his minutes have gone up, and he’s looked good out there. So we’ll see. Hopefully we can give a couple more minutes tomorrow, and keep going in the right direction.”
The ultimate goal is that Garnett will be healthy and able to contribute in the playoffs.
Jerald L. Hoover