Kevin Garnett has taken a backseat in the offense to start the season. Credit: Getty Images
The 30 shots Kevin Garnett has taken through the first three games is the lowest total since he was a rookie in 1995-96 when limited minutes only earned him 13.
At this point in his career, and on the team the Nets have, Garnett is likely to get fewer shots, which is something that evolved in Boston. In six seasons with Boston, Garnett never took more than 50 shots in the team’s first three games and he never shot less than 45 percent.
The problem seems to be at least early in missing the high-percentage shots. While Garnett is 8-for-19 from greater than 10 feet, he is 2-for-11 inside 10 feet, a figure that might coincide with being tentative, which he seemed to concede to reporters after going 3-for-11 Sunday in Orlando.
“I've got to be better with what I'm doing, making my minutes more productive," Garnett said to reporters Sunday. "I'm just being a little more passive, trying to be the glue if you will.
"I need to be a little more aggressive at times. I don't really think about the offense. Defense is where I'm trying to make sure that we're cohesive and we will."
Perhaps a bigger indicator that backs up Garnett’s comments is that he has been to the foul line just twice in 75 minutes.
Kidd: preseason training camp for Williams
Deron Williams did not have much of a training camp due to a right ankle injury. He evolved from escaping the walking boot to playing 10 minutes in the final preseason game.
Since he missed six others, Williams is essentially recouping the lost time with his minutes. He played 22 minutes — none in the fourth quarter — last Wednesday before turning in 27-minute stints in the next two games.
“I think for Deron, this is preseason training camp,” Kidd said. “He didn’t get to do a lot in the regular training camp or preseason. So we have to figure out how to get him [time] without running him out there for 35 minutes and he can’t play the next night. We haven’t played him over 30-something minutes, but there will be a point in the season when he’ll be there. He’s been good about it, but it’s going to take some time. He’ll get there.”
Ex-Net Jefferson praises Kidd
Richard Jefferson has played in 855 games but his first regular season contest occurred as a teammate of Nets head coach Jason Kidd.
As a rookie out of Arizona in 2001, he soaked in everything Kidd said during those years and attributed that as a reason he has remained in the league.
Since leaving the Nets a few month after Kidd was traded to Dallas in 2008, Jefferson has not been the focal point on teams such as San Antonio, Milwaukee and Golden State, but he was in the starting lineup for Utah Tuesday night.
Before making his third start for the Jazz, Jefferson took time to echo the praises Kidd has received from many around the league after he was named a head coach two weeks after retiring as a player.
“We can make all the assumptions that you want,” Jefferson said. “George Karl won coach of the year and got released last year. So you can be a great coach and the situation might not be right and there’s guys that get multiple opportunities and don’t deserve it. Jason Kidd is a guy that worked extremely hard to show that he deserves that opportunity that’s been given to him. He’s a guy that’s succeeded in every opportunity that’s ever been given to him. So I don’t see why this should be different.”
Jefferson’s time with Kidd was arguably the best years the franchise had in New Jersey, resulting in two trips to the finals and six consecutive playoff appearances. The biggest thing Jefferson remembered was how Kidd could impact things without scoring.
“I complement him,” Jefferson said. “When they got Jason Kidd and knew they were going to get Jason Kidd, they wanted to put guys around him that complemented the way he played because there was many years when he was the best point guard in the league and possibly the best player on the planet. Not many guys in the history of this league have been able to dominate multiple games without scoring and when he did score, it was a bonus. It was almost a given that we were going to a win a game.
“We complimented each other but he was my mentor. He was a guy that I listened to every single word he said for seven years and tried to take in as much as I could. Without him, I probably wouldn’t have played in the league as long as I have.”