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Monday, March 3, 2014
Kevin Garnett (back) sits out

By Mike Mazzeo
ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets center Kevin Garnett will miss his second straight game due to back spasms Monday night against the Chicago Bulls.

Mason Plumlee will once again start in Garnett's place.

"We're just taking it one day at a time. We'll see how he feels tomorrow," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "I think he feels better today. I think we play (four) games this week, so we'll just take it one at a time."

Garnett, who had been listed as a game-time decision, also sat out Saturday night's win in Milwaukee.

The 37-year-old veteran has played in 49 of the team's first 56 games this season, averaging a career-low 21.0 minutes. Kidd has constantly monitored Garnett's playing time in an effort to make sure he's healthy for the playoffs.

The Nets are 3-5 without Garnett this season.

"(We'll miss) his energy. His understanding defensively. He brings a lot to the table, and also on the perimeter him being able to knock down shots," Kidd said. "I think guys are getting better, or maybe a little bit more comfortable when he's not in there, because again, we've struggled with him in the lineup. We'll miss him, but hopefully he gets rest and he'll be able to go soon."

The Nets are 6.4 points per 100 possessions better defensively with Garnett on the court as opposed to on the bench. They have a 100.4 defensive rating with him on the court and a 107.0 defensive rating with him on the bench.

Garnett's absence could open up more playing time for reserve Jason Collins, who will make his home debut after becoming the first active openly gay player in NBA history last Sunday.

Collins will sign a second 10-day contract on Wednesday, sources confirmed. The Nets will certainly miss Garnett, given that the Bulls boast a frontcourt that includes Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson.