Kevin Garnett is easily having the worst season of his career this year as he has been physically incapable of playing over 20 minutes a game on most nights and when he is out there he has been an offensive liability and little help on defense too.
His 10.8 points and 4.8 personal fouls per 36 minutes are both career worsts, by a lot, and so is his 39.8 true shooting percentage. His defensive rebounding percentage is at an career-high, but he’s struggling on the offensive end and considering there is nobody else on the Nets to even challenge him for rebounds it’s not a good sign.
Garnett spoke with reporters after Tuesday night’s game about his struggles and blamed that he hasn’t gotten a rhythm on offense because he doesn’t know where he fits into the Nets’ offensive system.
“The most frustrating thing about me is I could see if wasn’t hitting shots and I wasn’t in here working or taking (expletive) days off,” Garnett told Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News. “I put time into my craft for it to come out, but then that’s rhythm on offense. And I don’t have that right now.”
“Honestly, I have no rhythm. I’m trying to establish some confidence and figure this whole, ‘Where I fit into the offense’ thing,” he said. “Right now I’m just not even a priority. I’m trying to be more of a defensive-minded guy. … So I probably need to be a lot more aggressive. Right now my mental is more defensive right now than offense.”
Make no mistake, that is a burn on rookie head coach Jason Kidd. It’s on the head coach to make sure that his players know how they fit into the scheme of things and Garnett is clearly taking a shot at Kidd for his failure to do so. He probably makes a good point, but at his age, Garnett will be 38 in May, Kidd’s lack of coaching experience has probably played a small role in his struggles.
“Nobody likes to lose,” Garnett said. “I’m not a loser. But I show up every day and I try to be a professional and give everything I have. You put Father Time on top of that. It doesn’t help anything else. And knick knacks and injuries and stuff like that and guys going out. It’s just a frustrating time.”
Garnett has been limited to 21.5 minutes per game this season. Since December that number has gone way down as he’s only played over 20 minutes in four of his last 13 games. The original plan was just to keep him fresh for the playoffs, but now it seems necessary just to get him out on the court at all. He’s slow, a liability on offense and has barely helped on defense. He can’t run, he can’t drive the lane, so he’s been forced to settle on his jump shot that has abandoned him.
Garnett may be frustrated with Kidd, but his age is the biggest problem. If he can even make it through this season it seems hard to picture him coming back again next year. Garnett is finished.