Starting at power forward for Lionel Hollins’s Brooklyn Nets is… the future Hall of Fame power forward.
Guess we saw that coming. Speaking with reporters at Deron Williams’s Celebrity Dodge Barrage, Hollins said that Garnett is penciled in as his team’s starting power forward, to flank All-Star center Brook Lopez in the frontcourt. “He’s earned the right to have that opportunity to be the starter from day one,” Hollins said about Garnett. “If somebody else would knock him out, it’s got to be like a heavyweight fight.”
Garnett turned his season around in the second half of the 2013-14 season when he moved to center, allowing him to stay close to the basket on defense. The Nets allowed just 95.6 points per 100 possessions with Garnett on the floor in 2014, by far the best of any player on the team and a number that would’ve been the best of all NBA teams over a full season. But Hollins stressed that he’d start as a power forward, which mimics his big-oriented Memphis Grizzlies teams that started Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
Garnett has just one year left on his contract, and there were rumors that he’d possibly retire this offseason. But teammates and Hollins stressed that Garnett has worked out in the Nets facility for the last two weeks, and that he’s ready to play. “If he’s healthy and producing, he’s going to play,” Hollins added. How many minutes, I don’t know. But he’s not going to play 15 or 16 minutes, I can guarantee you that. If he’s playing and he’s starting, he’s going to be out there.”
Hollins added that he had no influence over Garnett’s decision to come back. “You’re either here or you’re not here. You’re either pregnant or you’re not pregnant.”