Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd, in doing the media rounds this summer, has tipped his hand ever so slightly on his coaching strategy. He’s going to try to get the team to run more. (With their roster, good luck with that.) He’s going to run a motion offense predicated on constant ball movement and spacing. He’s going to use the plot to Elysium to influence his coaching, somehow.
Now he’s talking a major step — allocating minutes, specifically the minutes of 37-year-old big Kevin Garnett. Kidd will eliminate likely 20 specific games from Garnett’s regular season load alone:
“When you look at KG, probably no back-to-backs, but those are just topics right now that are being thrown around,” Kidd said Friday.
The Nets have 20 back-to-back games this season and two instances of four games in five nights. It might behoove Kidd to stagger which end of the back-to-backs Garnett plays, and perhaps ramp up the rest as the playoff picture becomes clearer.
Garnett has averaged 80 games per year since joining the Boston Celtics in 2007-08 — 66 in the regular season and 14 in the playoffs. Eliminating 20 games from the regular season would help extend Garnett in the playoffs, but may also put Brooklyn’s seeding in jeopardy in what’s expected to be a hotly contested Eastern Conference. The Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, and New York Knicks all lay claim to top seeds, and one of those four is going to lose home-court advantage.
Sitting Garnett gives Kidd some flexibility with the starting lineup. He could start
Swiss Russian army forward Andrei Kirilenko in his place. Mirza Teletovic, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche are also available for significant minutes.
Kidd made these statements in Uniondale, New York, at a press conference celebrating the renovation of Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum by Barclays Center.