Jason Kidd ‘Probably’ Won’t Play Kevin Garnett in Back-to-Back Games

by August 19, 2013

Having watched Kevin Garnett run out of gas in the postseason the last few years, Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd wants to cut down on the veteran big man’s playing time. Kidd says he likely won’t allow KG to suit up in any back-to-backs next season. Per the NY Daily News: “After Garnett admitted he seriously contemplated retirement this summer, the 37-year-old will ‘probably’ not play in back-to-back games next season, according to Nets coach Jason Kidd. The Nets have 20 sets of back-to-backs, including a Rockets-Knicks combo in April. ‘We’ve talked about it that there’s going to be (minutes restrictions). When you look at KG, probably no back-to-backs for him,’ Kidd said Friday following press conference to announce the renovation of Nassau Coliseum. ‘Those are just topics we’re talking about, throwing around to keep these guy’s minutes down because we are deep. …you want to be fresh going into the playoffs.’ Garnett, who will earn about $11.5 million next season, is the oldest starter on a lineup with an average age of 31.6. He hasn’t played more than 71 games since joining the Celtics in 2007-08, and his minutes dipped to under 30 per game last season. The Spurs have used a similar strategy with Tim Duncan, who is also 37 and played 69 games last season. Resting Garnett should mean heavy minutes for Andray Blatche, Andrei Kirilenko and Reggie Evans, who together form one of the best frontcourt benches in the NBA. Kidd said Friday that Kirilenko will be a spot starter. Still, there should be concerns about the health of a team built for the short-term. Paul Pierce,35, struggled through an elbow injury in Boston’s playoff loss against the Knicks. Joe Johnson, 32, was hobbled for the final two months of last season with plantar fasciitis. Brook Lopez, 25, is coming off the third surgery on his right foot, having spent most of the summer in a walking boot after his metal screw was replaced. ‘He’s cleared. He’s out of the boot,’ Kidd said Friday. ‘The next step will be to slowly get back in shape and get ready for camp (in October).'”