Kevin Garnett to play Friday; Should KG play in back-to-backs?
Coming into the season, there was much discussion about the Brooklyn Nets revamped roster. Though undoubtedly talented, the question remained: are they too old? New coach Jason Kidd has been constantly questioned of how he would manage the minutes of the aging team, specifically Kevin Garnett, who will turn 38 around the time the Eastern Conference Finals are beginning (and the Nets hope to be celebrating his birthday with a game). Kidd has already addressed this topic with KG, and apparently KG wasn’t exactly thrilled with the notion of having his minutes cut.
The first scenario putting this theory to the test will take place Friday, as the Nets travel for the first half of a back-to-back against the Wizards, before hosting the surging Indiana Pacers the next night at the Barclays Center. Kidd has already confirmed that KG will be on the court against the Wizards, with a confusing reaction of “Yeah. I wouldn’t see why not.” Yet, Kidd would not commit to Garnett taking the floor Saturday with the early-season showdown against the Pacers.
This poses the question: SHOULD KG play in back-to-backs? My answer: It depends. Aside from their starting lineup, one of the Nets biggest advantages is their depth. Kidd has the unique option of being able to plug-in three guys who have started in this league before in Andray Blatche, Andrei Kirilenko and Reggie Evans, and he would be wise to take advantage of this. Depth is a funny thing, because while it can sometimes cause trouble with minute distribution, it is also crucial to the inevitable injury that most teams occur. However, while having a fully healthy team, it would be beneficial to the Nets long-term goals to limit Garnett’s early season minutes.
The argument goes two ways, though. While Garnett has played the fifth most minutes in NBA history, he is also on a new team that is trying to build the chemistry necessary to contend for an NBA championship. In this way, the Garnett situation differs from Gregg Popovich’s dynamic with Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili have played together for many years, and the chemistry has already been established.
In this particular case, it seems that Kidd should play Garnett against the Pacers to make an early-season statement to a rival they may see later in the playoffs at home. However, in general, and especially as the season progresses, Garnett should be rested.
Tell us what YOU think about how much KG should play in the comments below.
By: Frank Santos- Sports-Kings Co-Founder