The Nets have been doing just fine without Kevin Garnett, posting a record of 11-4 since he’s been sidelined with back spasms after last playing on Feb. 27.
But obviously, having him back at some point before the playoffs would be a huge boost to their postseason chances because of the way Garnett is still able to impact the game on the defensive end of the floor.
Speaking to reporters before Friday’s win over the Cavaliers, though, Jason Kidd hinted that we may not see Garnett return for the rest of the regular season.
In fact, Kidd said prior to the tipoff against the Cavs that Garnett doesn’t have to play again in the regular season to start the playoffs in shape or in rhythm.
“He’s played this game. It doesn’t change. If he gets to play before the playoffs, that’ll be great. If he gets to practice before the playoffs, that’ll be great. And if he had no practice or no games, for him being on the floor (in the playoffs) would help us dramatically. So however you look at it, him playing with us will help us. And game shape? He plays at a high level so he’s going to get tired no matter what.”
A large reason for the Nets not losing their stride without Garnett has been the play of Mason Plumlee, who has been able to hold things down for the 20 minutes per game usually reserved for Garnett in the starting lineup.
It would be tricky to mess with things by immediately placing Garnett back into that role if he isn’t truly ready, but it sounds like whenever he is, Kidd won’t hesitate to reinsert him into the lineup — even if by them the playoffs have already started.