The Big Ticket is the big question through six games in Brooklyn. What is wrong with the Nets’ key offseason acquisition, Kevin Garnett?
It is still very early in the season, but it is clear that the 37-year old is having some growing pains as he adjusts to the Nets’ Front Court. Through six games, KG is shooting just 32 percent from the field. But perhaps what is most troubling about his poor shooting is that he is only 3-of-12 from the paint. Sure, Garnett does not have as much room to operate in the paint with Brook Lopez occupying a good portion of real estate, but he still needs to find a way to get more shots closer to the basket.
The Nets don’t need Garnett to be the scorer he once was, but the team needs him to be smart with his shot selection. Getting used to working alongside Brook Lopez should certainly help that.
Another area where KG has not been the player we were accustomed to seeing in Minnesota and Boston is in his defense. Perhaps the most intimidating defender in the past decade, Garnett has not struck the same fear in opponents since coming to the borough. His rebounding numbers are down from 7.8 boards per game last season to just 6.7 this year.
As a team, the Nets are allowing opponents to average just over 100 points per game, bad enough for 17th in the league. No KG-led defense should be allowing the opposition to put up those kinds of numbers.
So, how worried should Brooklynites be about the Big Ticket’s less-than-stellar start to the season? Not overly concerned. KG demands perfection from his teammates and even more so from himself. Once he gets into a groove with Lopez, his shots will fall and the defensive intensity will follow suit. If the past 18 years of his career are any indication, Brooklynites can expect for it to happen sooner than later.
Tom Lafe is a 6-foot-5 sports-world insider with a middling high school basketball career who believes the Nets will be driven by the success of the team’s big men.