Kevin Garnett, The Ageless Wonder


Ask Nets fans who their team’s most valuable player has been for the first month and you’d get some generic answer like Deron Williams or the always popular, “No one, we’re 8-9.” Although each response might be accurate there is one player in particular that deserves endless praise for his work on both ends in the young season. That man is Kevin Garnett.

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Coming into this season, many speculated whether KG was going to retire or fulfill the last year of his contract (at a hefty fee of 12 million). He ended such doubts weeks before training camp by committing to at least one more season in the NBA; a surprise to many due to the departure of Paul Pierce and the abrupt trade that landed Jason Kidd in Milwaukee. Basically, the reason The Big Ticket was lured to Brooklyn last season.

He had shown flashes of his previous brilliance last season but his declining health forced him to miss 26 straight games at one point, ushering Mason Plumlee into the starting lineup. During the postseason run, Garnett helped anchor a defense that was able to withstand Toronto and competitively bow out to Miami in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Many were unsure if he would be able to last another grueling NBA season or how his role would change with a new head coach. So far, he’s silencing his critics and playing great basketball.

Up to this point in the season, Garnett has been able to handle 25+ minutes a game while providing energy and efficiency at both ends of the court. Mason Plumlee has struggled as of late (played much better against the Knicks) leading to a decrease in his minutes but KG has picked up the slack. Last season, Garnett was more of a liability on the offensive side of the ball but he has found his groove in the first quarter of the year. His energy on the defensive end is unmatched and has somehow improved from last year, scooping up loose balls, battling on the glass and altering shots. Another day at the office for the future hall of famer.

Tuesday night against the Knicks he gave Amare Stoudemire all he could handle, and then some. Watching Garnett go toe to toe against the elite big men in the NBA without backing down is a sight to see. He drives opposing teams and players insane, whether he’s trying to fight them or simply bite them.

Not to get off topic, but this is exactly what Lionel Hollins is looking for from his entire roster. Garnett and Hollins’ old school mentalities mesh extremely well together and is the main reason why KG has had a recent uptick in minutes, especially in late-game situations, similar to Wednesday. Late in the game, as the Nets’ lead was slipping away, Garnett hit two clutch shots and secured key defensive rebounds to preserve the lead. Not to mention he peeled down 11 boards in the first half alone, bolstering his career high rebounding rate of 20.8%.

Garnett would end up getting the night off on Wednesday night against San Antonio and Mirza Teletovic would get the spot start. Teletovic exploded for 22 points and 15 rebounds in the upset victory. Assuming KG will retain his starting role when he returns, it is comforting for Nets fan to know that they have viable replacements for whenever Lionel Hollins plans of giving Garnett his rest. Last year Mason Plumlee, this year Mirza Teletovic.

At this point in his career, Garnett and Nets fans alike know that they aren’t going to expect the gaudy numbers he put up in Minnesota or even the supremely efficient stats he put up in Boston but both can agree that he’ll show up to each game and give it his all. A “lunch pail” type of guy that the Nets definitely need more of if they’re going to be competitive this season. Keep doing what you’re doing KG, the Nets faithful are enjoying it every step of the way.

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