Jason Kidd says Kevin Garnett ‘probably’ won’t play in back-to-backs

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The Nets bolstered their starting lineup this summer by gutting a rebuilding Celtics team and adding Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to fill out what should be one of the most formidable starting lineups in all of basketball next season.

Age is a legitimate concern, however, as Pierce is 35 and Garnett is 37.

The regular season is a long grind for veteran players, and making sure that the team is as close to full strength as possible for the playoffs is an important part of managing the team throughout the year.

It’s not surprising, then, that first time head coach Jason Kidd is already having discussions about resting one of his new key players.

From Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York:

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd has discussed the possibility of power forward Kevin Garnett not playing in both games of back-to-back sets this season.

“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 will play 20 sets of back-to-back games. Garnett is 37, and the Nets want to make sure their newly acquired veteran stays healthy throughout the regular season.

Good luck with that, coach.

Garnett is as competitive as they come, and if he’s feeling at or near 100 percent, it’s going to be tough to convince him to willingly wear a suit on the bench 20 times out of 82.

Even Tim Duncan, also 37, didn’t rest that much last year; he missed only 13 of San Antonio’s regular season contests. And we know how overly-cautious Gregg Popovich can be with resting his starters.

With that being said, Garnett did miss 14 games while with the Celtics last season. Kidd may be able to convince him to sit out some of those back-to-backs (to be clear, we’re talking about the second night of a back-to-back set), but getting Garnett on board with missing 20 games if he’s healthy at the time seems like a bit of a stretch.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.