With the Nets set to begin their first back-to-back set of the season in the nation’s capital Friday night, the subject of Kevin Garnett’s availability for both games came up. And, not surprisingly, coach Jason Kidd wasn’t too eager to discuss it. “I can only talk about Washington,” Kidd said with a smile after Thursday’s practice at the team’s New Jersey facility. That was his standard answer to virtually any question in relation to either Garnett or managing his players’ minutes during his question-and-answer session with reporters, though he did say Garnett would play in Friday’s night’s game without disclosing whether he would be available to play again Saturday in Brooklyn against the Pacers. Ahead of training camp, Kidd said his future Hall of Fame power forward potentially may sit out half of each of the team’s 20 back-to-back sets this season, and it has been a hot topic of conversation around the Nets since. Garnett later said at media day the discussion between he and Kidd about it didn’t go well. While Kidd wasn’t too excited to discuss the subject Thursday, it has been crystal clear through the first four games of the season he and his coaching staff are going to make sure they keep this veteran team as healthy and fresh as possible going into the playoffs. Through those four games, no player has seen more time than the 33-plus minutes Brook Lopez received in the opener, and Lopez is leading the team in minutes at just 28 per game. That sets the Nets apart across the league, with only the Lakers — who, of course, are missing Kobe Bryant — having their minutes leader averaging less than 30 minutes a night entering Thursday night’s action, and with the Kings and Spurs the only teams to have just one player above the 30-minute threshold. And though the Nets will likely wind up with both Deron Williams and Brook Lopez eventually averaging more than 30 minutes a game, don’t expect them to average much more. Even against the defending champion Heat last Friday — the kind of team you might have to extend your starters against — Paul Pierce led the Nets with 31 minutes played.
Jason Kidd mum on giving Kevin Garnett a breather
New York Post | Nov 8