Friday, September 27, 2013
Nets power forward breakdown
By Mike Mazzeo
Brooklyn Nets training camp begins on Oct. 1 at Duke University. Here's a position-by-position breakdown, continuing with power forward.
The starter: Kevin Garnett
Last season, the Nets played Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans and Mirza Teletovic at power forward.
Suffice to say the Big Ticket is a big upgrade.
Garnett, 37, brings defense, intensity and leadership to a franchise that was without an identity last season.
Good thing Paul Pierce and first-year coach Jason Kidd convinced him to waive his no-trade clause.
Garnett hates when he's asked how much he has left in the tank, but Kidd plans to monitor his minutes closely -- possibly giving him games off in back-to-back sets -- to keep him fresh come playoff-time.
With Garnett on the court last season, the Celtics were more than eight points per 100 possessions better defensively than with him off it.
Garnett, who has a tremendous mid-range game, should be a fine compliment to Brook Lopez in the frontcourt.
If you're wondering what type of decline KG is in, consider this: In his first five seasons in Boston, Garnett averaged 15.9 points and 8.4 rebounds in 31.2 minutes. In 2012-13, he averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in 29.7 minutes.
Garnett, like Pierce, is hungry for another championship before he rides off into the sunset, a Hall of Famer and one of the most intense competitors the game has ever seen.
The backup: Reggie Evans
The Joker rebounded at a better rate than anyone per 48 minutes last season.
Granted, that's pretty much all he can do.
Evans did have a lot of success finishing with his left-hand down low toward the end of the 2012-13 campaign, but he's always been more of a 10-15 minute reserve that brings energy and effort.
Given his limited ability in other facets of the game, it'll be interesting to see what Evans' role is on the team.
Either way, though, he brings a lot to the table, and can be a pest in the post come playoff time.
The third-stringer: Mirza Teletovic
Like many European players, Teletovic struggled with his transition to the NBA.
He's a skilled marksman from the perimeter, but struggled to fit in and make shots consistently.
Still, Teletovic can score points in bunches. He's another guy whose role is uncertain, but he could be valuable given how much skill the Nets have on offense.