Posted on: October 10th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

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Height: 6'13"11"
Weight: 250 lbs.
Date of Birth: May 19, 1976
Years Pro: 19
Before NBA: Farragut Academy High School (Illinois)
Drafted:
Nickname: The Big Ticket, KG

- Full Stats -

No longer just the great communicator on the court in the final stage of his career, Kevin Garnett has evolved into the NBA's sage luminary, weaving verbal mosaics about the importance of hard work and communication with stories from his 19 years as a professional athlete. Impossible to predict, difficult to decipher, and magnetic in elocution, Garnett speaks in clouded metaphors, likening milk-chugging to ball-handling and Joe Johnson to Jesus Christ, while peppering in meaningful anecdotes about any one of his hundreds of teammates and former coaches.

He screams at teammates and opponents with reckless abandon, curses himself in practice, and once he's gathered himself to speak with the press, conveys a thoughtfulness equally revealing and distancing. He even makes comparing his jump shot to a booty call sound like modern philosophy. He's back to live and die by every possession for one more year.

Though he hasn't committed to anything beyond this season, it's most likely Garnett's farewell tour, with $12 million left on his NBA contract and close to 55,000 minutes on his career odometer (including playoffs). He mulled retirement after the 2012-13 season before agreeing to play one more year in Brooklyn, then decide to stick it out for the rest of the season.

"I prepared myself this offseason, like I (always) have," Garnett mused early in training camp. "Not last year, because I was indecisive about what I wanted to do...this year I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I did that throughout the whole summer. So I'm in better spirits because I know what I'm here to do this year."

"I'm here to enjoy this. You never know when it's going to be your last."

There's nothing about Kevin Garnett's on-court game that hasn't been chronicled in a thousand places. He's got one of the best mid-range jumpers in the league and a keen eye for floor space on the offensive end. You won't see him put the ball on the floor, but he'll set screens, hit turnaround jumpers, and throw down the occasional open dunk.

While he goes out of his way to say he's not a "primary" option on the team, that's only on the offensive side of the floor; the Nets played at an elite level defensively with him manning the middle, and posted a defensive rating better than any NBA team with him on the floor in the calendar year 2014, thanks to his still-nimble feet inside, his constant barking at teammates, and opponents' aversion to attacking the basket with him in the lane.

By name alone, Garnett's earned the right from Nets coach Lionel Hollins to be the team's starting power forward, despite playing more effectively at center last season. Though Jason Kidd only played Garnett 20.5 minutes per game last season and often no longer than five-minute spurts, Hollins says he plans to play Garnett much longer than that.

He came through on that promise early, sending Garnett out for a stretch of 7:15 to open up the first preseason game against Maccabi Tel Aviv. It won't be the last time he plays that long this season... though it might be the last time he plays at all.

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AP

AP

Kevin Garnett isn't surprised he's made it this far, but one front-office executive didn't see it coming.
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AP

Kevin Garnett hasn't come off the bench in an NBA game since January 27th, 1996. He's started in 1,482 consecutive games, including the playoffs, since that day.

On a related note, new Nets coach Lionel Hollins said Monday afternoon that Garnett's "earned the right" to be his starting power forward. He'll flank Brook Lopez in a big lineup reminiscent of Hollins's days in Memphis, when he started talented Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, two talented big men. This comes after Garnett played much of last season at the center position, following Lopez's season-ending foot injury.

Garnett doesn’t want to be known as a center. He’s open and vocal about his disdain for the center position. “Should’ve put that s--- (not playing center) in my contract,” he joked back in January. He’s famously referred to as “six-foot-thirteen,” since being seven feet tall is often associated with a lumbering lack of skill. Garnett doesn’t want people to think he’s in the NBA just because he’s tall, but because he’s tall and he’s put in an unconscionable amount of work.

Garnett considers himself a power forward, a position that by definition requires more skill and versatility than the centers he grew up watching.

That’s precisely the problem: Garnett has a traditional vision of what a center is in today’s NBA. By being his power forward self, he’s better as a center.
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Kevin Garnett

h/t @SBNation

Kevin Garnett: 54 G, 54 GS, 20.5 MPG, 6.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.80 SPG, 0.74 BPG, .441 FG% .000 3P%, .809 FT%, 13.35 PER, 1.5 EWA
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AP

AP

The Brooklyn Nets are down 2-0 in their best-of-seven second-round series against the Miami Heat. With possibly just two games remaining in Brooklyn's season, here's the big things we'll be watching.

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As a teen, Joakim Noah used to have Kevin Garnett's poster on his wall. Now, he views him as "an enemy." In this captivating video by our partners at the YES Network, a variety of NBA all-stars describe what it’s like to play against the intense, trash-taking Kevin Garnett, especially when many of them grew up idolizing him.

 

Nets Raptors Basketball

The Nets and Raptors start their playoff series Saturday in Toronto. (AP)

 

What had happened was: The Nets cast aside their usual uniforms and instead collectively donned a massive white flag in the final game of the regular season, which they lost 114-85 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game mercifully brought to an end a streak of uninspired, boring basketball the Nets largely played over the final two weeks.

The Nets made rest their first priority, as Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Shaun Livingston, Kevin Garnett, Alan Anderson, and Mirza Teletovic sat this one out. Instead, the Nets fielded a vaunted five of Jorge Gutierrez, Marquis Teague, Marcus Thornton, Andray Blatche, and Jason Collins. Andrei Kirilenko and Mason Plumlee made appearances of the bench, which was weird, because I wasn’t used to seeing NBA players on the court when they got in the game.

That was: A chore. No one wanted to watch the Nets’ collection of also-rans come out and skirmish with a non-playoff game when the team clearly didn’t give a damn, and this was in many senses not even an NBA game.

Where they stand: After a few days of jockeying, the dust has settled. The Nets will take the No. 6 seed and play the Toronto Raptors, who beat the New York Knicks Wednesday to cement their spot in the No. 3 seed, in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 will take place at the Air Canada Centre Saturday on ESPN. Time TBD. With the loss, the Nets locked a spot in Miami’s half of the Eastern Conference bracket, which means Brooklyn will play No. 2 Miami in the second round if the Nets advance and Miami takes care of business against No. 7 Charlotte.

This came amid much dismay that the Nets would have to play the Chicago Bulls in the first round once again. The No. 4 Bulls will instead play the No. 5 Washington Wizards.

The stats: Well, they weren’t great. Marcus Thornton led the Nets with 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting — and shoot he did. The cuffs were off for Thornton, who is not shy about shooting in the first place. This was an exhibition in gunning.

Andray Blatche posted 20 points (8-of-18 shooting) and 12 rebounds and featured his usual collection of moves and hilarity. Andrei Kirilenko MADE A PAIR OF FREE THROWS and I don’t care about anything else he did.

Jason Collins was set free to fire, logging eight points on eight shots. The lumbering big man played 39 minutes, and you have to figure he’ll never play that many in an NBA game again.

Shot Chart Rorschach Test: A Christmas-themed square donut.
donut

Is Marquis Teague in the D-League yet? That’s a nope.

Game Grades: Read 'em here.

Was this wise? Maybe. Williams needed the rest. If Johnson needed it, he never would have told you so. Pierce has his shoulder thingy, and Garnett sweats a new ocean after each two-minute stint. There were reasons not to care, but there were also reasons to try and avoid Miami in the second round and stay in rhythm.

Also, I take a little more seriously Jason Kidd’s assertion that Garnett’s minutes load won’t increase in the playoffs given that he had absolutely no chance to increase it incrementally during the regular season. The Nets can probably only count on him for 22 minutes a game in the postseason.

WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?

Shaun Livingston, not doin’ things: He didn’t play. That toe is really actin’ up.

Can you give me a comparison for the number of fast-break dunks the Nets gave up in the second half? Sure thing!

Across the river: The Knicks lost to the Toronto Raptors, putting to bed their miserable season and giving them 37 wins, matching the SCHOENE projection that Knicks fans were quick to call absurd before the season began.

Take that, Masai Ujiri.

Next up: The Nets start what they’ve been building toward since Jan. 1. Saturday they get to show that they really were built for the playoffs.

 

The Nets had plenty to joke around about on Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Nets had plenty to joke around about on Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

 

Here's a roundup of last night's Nets festivites:

What happened: The Nets thoroughly obliterated a Denver Nuggets team that is a shell of its healthy self, setting the tone early by going up 29-8 after the first quarter and never letting it get closer than 20 points in atypical Nets fashion. The Nets won the second game of a back-to-back on the road, one night after getting spanked by the Portland Trail Blazers without LaMarcus Aldridge and Thomas Robinson and indicating total embarrassment to reporters after the game.

You could tell Brooklyn's intensity was at its peak, and it was clear Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett had no designs of losing this game. The Nets went on to pick up their first win in Denver since Jan. 2007.

Where they stand: The Nets are now 27-29, once again squarely facing that two-games-under-.500 plateau that has plagued them for the last few weeks. They're now 6th in the Eastern Conference, a half game ahead of Charlotte and two games behind Washington, which has won its last five including a triple-overtime thriller over Toronto Thursday.

The stats: The Nets somehow ended up shooting only 47.6 percent, but they held Denver to 37.5 percent and 6-of-22 from deep. The Nuggets had 30 made field goals and 24 turnovers. That race was close for most of the game.

Pierce led the Nets with 18 points. Everyone on the Nets' active roster scored. Yes, that includes Jason Collins, who had 3 points.

If I were a blowhard, I'd say the only important statistic is 1-0, the Nets' record in this game.

Fast breaking the Fast Breakers: 

Vintage Pierce: Pierce only had to play 22 minutes, but he was at his peak. He nailed threes from the top of the key and whirled into icy turnaround jumpers at the elbows. The Nets need this Pierce for the balance of the season in order to compete.

Joe Johnson still might not be healthy: Johnson sat out a game at the beginning of February as a result of knee tendinitis. The way he's moving and shooting, it appears to me that his knee is still barking at him. Johnson's not one to complain, and he never made an excuse last year when he bravely battled plantar fasciitis in the first-round series against the Bulls. But it might be best for the team if Johnson takes some time off now rather than soldiering through it. Given Kidd's hyper-conservative tendencies with injury and rest with the rest of his roster, I'm not sure why Johnson isn't getting the same opportunity to heal.

Kirilenko has been working on his granny shot:

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I defy you to show me a more Kirilenko shot than that.

Shaun Livingston, doing things: He did things. Nothing worthy of a GIF or video. But he was there. Stuff got done by him. He finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, and more than zero stuffs done.

The Alan Anderson/Marcus Thornton Experiment: Alan Anderson didn't play in the first three quarters of this game, and that was notable because he has played in every single game this season for the Nets. He's not shooting well (he's under 40 percent from the field this season and his three-point stroke has been ice cold in February). But I don't think his three-quarter DNP is necessarily a harbinger for things to come. This game was a good excuse to get Marcus Thornton some extended minutes and see what he could do with his new teammates. I doubt Kidd has made a decision either way as to which of them will get the bulk of the backup guard minutes down the stretch of the regular season and in the playoffs.

Andray Blatche wants nothing to do with your piggy-back rides:

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Andray Blatche was really good in this game, though: This was a quintessential #TheBestOfBlatche game. Granted, he wasn't wildly inconsistent and unpredictable, but he did all the good Blatche stuff with none of the dumpster-fire Blatche stuff. He had 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals in 18 minutes. And he drained a three from the wing.

JASON COLLINS HITS A LONG 2:

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Go back to Germany, Dirk. Your services are no longer required. Jason Collins got this.

 

Kevin Garnett, Joakim Noah

Kevin Garnett and Joakim Noah have a history. (AP)

In 11 chances to play on the second half of a Brooklyn Nets back-to-back this season, Kevin Garnett has sat out in four of them. It's part of coach Jason Kidd's plan to rest Garnett during the season, to keep him fresh for the playoffs.

But he'll play tonight against the Chicago Bulls, as expected:
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