Nets Notebook: Garnett out again, Evans returns with Kings

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett missed another game with back spasms.
Credit: Getty Images

The Nets have offered a higher quality of play, especially defensively, in the four straight games Kevin Garnett has missed with back spasms.

Head coach Jason Kidd decided to make it five straight last night against Sacramento, though the team is not letting on any worry yet.

“I think he’s working extremely hard right now,” Kidd said. “It’s about April and May for us, but also being able to have guys step up.”
Kidd is of course referring to the playoffs as he walks a fine line between age and reality.

The Nets have a rebounding disparity of minus-47 without Garnett, but they’re allowing an average of just 90.75 points — well below their season average of 99.1 — thanks to forcing 95 turnovers. Kidd credited getting in passing lanes for the success without Garnett in the lineup.

“I think just a process of keep working at it, knowing each other and understanding for us we’ve got to get deflections,” Kidd said.

Rookie Mason Plumlee made his fifth straight start. The Nets have forced 34 turnovers with Plumlee is on the floor with the other four starters, according to NBA.com.

Evans returns to Brooklyn

A year ago, Reggie Evans was an integral part of interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo’s rotation with several double-digit rebounding games under his belt. He played 24.6 minutes per game, the second-highest average of his career.

After starting six games under Jason Kidd, Evans found himself often out of the rotation and limited to 13.3 minutes in 30 games this season in Brooklyn.

“He was a professional,” Kidd said. “Being able to help the younger guys, that’s him a professional, helping them become a little bit tougher, stepping in when we had a lot of injuries, but he came to work every day.”

Evans was traded to Sacramento at the trade deadline on Feb. 20.

“I’m not one of those players that holds grudges or takes it personal when you get traded,” Evans said. “It’s a business. At the end of the day, I’m still living out my dream, and that’s to play in the NBA. So that’s the best way to look at it.”

The toughest part for Evans was being separated from his family, especially since he had not changed teams in the middle of a season since 2006, but despite going from a playoff team to a young team in the Western Conference, he was upbeat and said he was pulling for the Nets.

In the first two weeks with his seventh team, Evans has played 21 minutes per game and had two double-figure rebounding games.

Perhaps of more importance to head coach Mike Malone is how Evans seems to be influencing DeMarcus Cousins in much the same way he influenced Brook Lopez.

“The work ethic, the preparation and all those things are what Reggie brings to the table and I think they’re only going to help DeMarcus,” Malone said. “Reggie’s never going to help DeMarcus with his low-post offense necessarily, but I think more importantly just the approach the game — work ethic, toughness and pride that you need to play with every night. So that’s why I think Reggie’s been a great addition to our team, not just his play on the floor but also his leadership in the locker room.”

The trade landed the Nets Marcus Thornton, who is seven years younger than Evans. Thornton’s playing time dwindled as the Kings attempted to integrate rookie Ben McLemore into the rotation.

“It was just we had a young player, Ben McLemore, who we were trying to get time for and sometimes during the season when things aren’t going the way you had hoped, you’re always constantly looking to make changes and we wish Marcus the best,” Malone said. “I coached him in two different stops — New Orleans and Sacramento — but we look at it [as] Brooklyn gets a helluva player. He can help their playoff push and we get a player in Reggie Evans that’s been a key addition for us.”

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD: Suspect dead after two U.S. Marshals, cop…

A suspected sex offender died during a shootout inside a West Village smoke shop that left two U.S. Marshals and an NYPD detective wounded, officials said.

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.

Food

Zagat releases '30 Under 30' list

Zagat releases a list of the people changing the food and drink industry across the country.