Nets Notebook: Jason Kidd looking to play all three centers

Mason Plumlee
Mason Plumlee has emerged while Kevin Garnett sat out.
Credit: Getty Images

In a perfect world, head coach Jason Kidd would really like to play all three of his centers in the same playoff game.

With Kevin Garnett being able to rest more, rookie Mason Plumlee emerging as a more-than-competent backup and Andray Blatche on the roster, someone could be the odd guy out.

“There’s 48 minutes,” Kidd said. “I don’t know if I can play all three of them but we’ll try to play all three. “But coming up on the playoffs — especially with the first round, the way it’s spread out — KG has a little bit more rest, so we’ll see. Sometimes there might be an odd man out. That’s just the way it goes.”

The trio has not played in the same game since April 5 when they beat Philadelphia, 105-101. Plumlee played 24 minutes, Garnett played 13 minutes and Blatche saw 11 minutes. Before that, the last game all three played in was Feb. 27 at Denver.

Blatche has sat out the last three games, missing Tuesday’s game with an illness and the next two as a coaches decision. In the two he did not play in at Orlando Wednesday and against Atlanta on Friday, Garnett played 16 minutes and 18 minutes, respectively, while Plumlee appeared for 27 minutes and 29 minutes.

For most of the season, Blatche has been the usual sub for Garnett, checking into games at the six-minute mark but Sunday he did not make his first appearance until the 9:47 mark of the second quarter.

If you base the first-round series on last year’s schedule, the Nets would open on the road in Toronto or Chicago on Saturday, play Game 2 on April 21 and the next two games April 24 and April 26.

Entering Sunday, Blatche is averaging 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. Since Plumlee’s emergence filling in for Garnett, those numbers are 10.2 points and four rebounds. Blatche appeared for just seven minutes against Orlando.

“We haven’t done it in a while,” Kidd said. “So I wanted to see how it looked. We have different guys playing with one another and it was all right. We haven’t played big, so that’s something we have to get used to if we’re going to do that in the playoffs.”

So about the Knicks

It might be weird that the Nets and Knicks are playing a late-season game that means little, especially considering the constant chatter from last summer.

Kidd said before the game the Nets aren’t concerned with the Knicks, who they will meet Tuesday, especially since the Knicks likely have the same feeling.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” Deron Williams said. “We’re worried about what’s going on in this locker room. As far as that’s concerned it would be good for the city to have a strong rivalry between the boroughs. There’s still a lot of time.”

Last year was the first time the Knicks and Nets were in the postseason in the same season since the 2004.

“I think it’s good for Brooklyn basketball,” Williams said. “It’s good for our brand and we got to make the most of that opportunity and make a run.”

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


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