Boston Celtics v Chicago Bulls

Nets’ coach Johnson says Garnett keeps calling out their plays


Most NBA teams run variations of some standard sets — “floppy,” “horns,” and so on — and players pick them up quickly.

Or, know how to break them up quickly.

Kevin Garnett is a student of the game and Nets coach Avery Johnson said before his Nets went out and beat the Celtics that Garnett keeps calling out their plays. And it’s frustrating for a coach. From

“He’s seen so much. We’ll call a play and he’ll say, ‘Joe is going over here and Deron is going here.’ It’s not funny anymore, OK?

“As much as (Rajon) Rondo quarterbacks their offense, (KG) quarterbacks their defense. … I like every now and then when we’ll surprise him with something, and then maybe he’ll look at the bench and curse the other coaches out, not me.”

Garnett is a defensive force.

The reason teams run those plays, by the way, is they work. It’s about execution, plus these are NBA players and most will score consistently on decent looks or even covered one-on-one.

But the trend — really started by Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix but now used by a lot of teams — to have a system where traditional plays are not called (at least early in the clock) is a reaction to that KG-like knowledge and scouting. The idea is to allow players to freelance and create in transition and early in the clock, something the defense can’t prepare for and be set for the same way.

PBT Extra bold prediction: Is this Andrew Wiggins’ breakout season?

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Minnesota is going to be entertaining to watch this season. A healthy Ricky Rubio (hopefully) dishing at the point, Karl-Anthony Towns is already a high-IQ passer, and bench players such as Shabazz Muhammad and Adreian Payne have shown some skills.

Then there’s Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year developed quickly last season — particularly his jump shot — and he should make a big leap this season. He’s going to dunk on people and end up in a lot of highlight packages while putting up a lot of points.

Enough to set the Minnesota Timberwolves single game scoring record, currently held at 52 by Mo Williams? That’s the question for this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.

Derrick Rose being back for start of season in question

Fred Hoiberg, Derrick Rose
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The Bulls have said Derrick Rose is about a week away from returning after suffering a facial fracture this preseason.

The start of the NBA season is two weeks from today (Oct. 27).

So Rose will be ready to go when the Bulls start their season that first night against Cleveland, right? Don’t bet on it, says Vincent Goodwill of, quoting coach Fred Hoiberg.

The opening night projection for a Derrick Rose return is a bit murky at this point, as the Bulls are taking a cautious approach to his recovery with Fred Hoiberg essentially ruling him out for the rest of the preseason.

“Most likely (out for the preseason),” Hoiberg said….

In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rose sit out the first handful of games, as the Bulls start the season with a three-game in four-night stretch starting Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is in two weeks.

“That will be in consideration, sure,” Hoiberg said. “We gotta make sure, he really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks, chances, where it could be a lingering issue.”

Just what TNT and the NBA hoped for with an opening night Bulls vs. Cavaliers showcase: Kirk Hinrich vs. Mo Williams. (Don’t forget Kyrie Irving will miss the start of the season recovering from his knee surgery.)

Of course, this is the smart play for the Bulls who need to be thinking about getting Rose fully healthy and focusing on what condition he will be come April 27, not Oct. 27.

And of course, a lot of Bulls fans who are down on Rose will slam him for this. Even though the injury was a freak accident and the team is right to be patient.

Rose could play opening night, if he gets back to practice next week and can get closer to basketball shape. But I wouldn’t bet on it.