FanPost

The Free Agent Files: Kevin Garnett

As we inch closer to next season, we'll take another look-see at a player that could be on the Nets' radar. Who's the subject today?

Letsdoit_1_medium_medium

Take the jump and read up on Kevin Garnett, while he stares into your soul. Let's do it!

Even though he's a massive dick, I'm a huge Kevin Garnett fan. From his days in Minnesota to now, Garnett has been intense, hyper-competitive, and most importantly, has been extremely productive. In a way, he was LeBron James before LeBron entered the league. He was the young guy tasked with being the face of the franchise and was one of the best players in the league, but due to a lack of supporting talent around him, he never was able to win a championship, or even make it to an NBA Finals for that matter. He eventually got the help he needed, shed the loser label put forth on him by basketball writers like Charley Rosen, and has been having success ever since.

Now that I've finished my little overview of Garnett's career, let's dig into his performance this past season.

Minutes per Game

Rebound rate

True Shooting %

Assist rate

Usage Rate

PER

Win Shares per 48

Wins Produced per 48

Garnett

31.2

15.6

55.1

18.09

24.82

20.49

.178

.168

Power Forwards in 2011-2012

21 13.6 53 12.85 18.61 15 .100 .099

Centers in 2011-2012

18 15.1 53.8 11.96 15.55 15 .100 .099

Garnett's career

36.5

17

54.9

19.9

25.2

23.3

.190

.245

Garnett played a ton of Center in the regular season and playoff for Boston so that's why centers are listed.

One thing that has always been prevalent in KG's game is his midrange game. Although the shot chart data only dates back to the 2006-2007 season, I always remember Garnett always being super accurate shooting jumpers from the right elbow. This season continued that trend, as Garnett shot 48% from 16-23 feet, which was one of the very best in the league. He doesn't shoot much in the paint anymore which explains why he averaged six shots per game from 16-23 feet, but when he does work in the paint, he can still finish and provide a physical presence as well.

While he doesn't handle the ball as much as he did in the old days, he's still a very good passing big guy. Even though he won't average 5+ assists per game like he did from 1999-2005, he can still find the open man on the perimeter or hit a cutter as he's headed to the basket. And for an offense that was very stagnant, that's an important quality to possess.

Garnett did a good job on the glass even though his team was awful on the whole. He was one of the best defensive rebounders in the league, and that was due to his physicality, positioning, length, timing and effort. Garnett is a little crazy hyper-competitive, so I don't believe there'll be a big decline in his rebounding going forward. His offensive rebounding wasn't any good, but I think there's a reason for that, which I'll get to a little later.

Ever since Garnett joined Boston in 2007, they've been Top 5 in defensive efficiency, and this season was no exception. They finished second this year, and Garnett's contributions played a major part in their success. With him on the court, they allowed 98.7 points per 100 possessions vs. 100 without. Moving onto his individual play, he did a solid job defending Centers. For a man who never played Center for extended stretches, holding opposing Centers to a 15.8 PER and 46.8 eFG% is pretty damn great. The great thing about his defense is that his strength and physicality are very vital when he's defending the low post, and his length, lateral quickness, and general basketball savvy serve him well when he's switching on the pick and roll when he's forced to cover a quicker, more athletic wing player. His chattiness on the court also works to benefit the team as he's always aware of what's happening on the court and communicates to his teammates as they're getting back on defense. And because this is Kevin Garnett, he employs some "unique" defensive strategies

but I digress. For a team that allowed the third most shot attempts at the rim per game and was the second worst defense overall, having a defender like Garnett who will bang on the inside, is athletic enough to switch on defense, is(still) a monster on the defensive glass, and has enough length and basketball savvy to compensate for a decline in his quickness are attributes the Nets need in the worst way.

Since we're talking about adding a big time player, we've gotta see how he compares to the man who'd he be replacing.

2011-2012

Games Played

Minutes per Game

True Shooting%

Rebound rate

Assist rate

Usage rate

PER

WS/48

WP/48

Garnett

60

31.2

55.1

15.6

18.09

24.82

20.49

.178

.168

Humphries

62

34.8

53.9

18.3

13.14

19.3

17.9

.118

.180

I don't know why, but I had thought Garnett missed more games this year. As it turned out, he only missed six games (some of them due to a hip flexor injury he suffered in February), but playing 60 games in a condensed 66 game season is pretty damn impressive.

Moving on from that, we can see Garnett represents a major upgrade over Humphries. Naturally, the big difference is in their offense, more specifically their jump shooting. Garnett can consistently make his mid-long range jumpers, while Humphries is not as consistent shooting the ball. This is a major point to take note of because with Garnett, the Nets would be able to stretch the floor, which would (in theory) create easier shot opportunities for Deron Williams (if he comes back) and Brook Lopez (provided he's still here). Also, the Nets would be able to run isolation plays for Garnett and the viewing audience won't feel offended by it as they were with the seemingly endless Humphries ISOs.

Humphries has the overall edge in rebounding, but here's where context is critical. Earlier, I said:

His offensive rebounding wasn't any good, but I think there's a reason for that, which I'll get to a little later.

Well, I think there's a perfectly acceptable reason for why his offensive rebounding numbers were poor. That reason? Shot locations. Taking a look at their respective shot charts, we can see that the overwhelming majority of Garnett's shots were past 10 feet, which makes it difficult to crash the offensive glass. Contrast that with Humphries, where most of his shot attempts came inside 10 feet. Of course correlation ≠ causation, but that difference in where they get their shot attempts from could play a difference in their total rebounding numbers.

Since we've noted the context, we see that Garnett outdid Humphries on the defensive glass. Of course that's not the only aspect of defense, and Garnett still has the edge on defense. You can afford to put Garnett on an athletic power forward like LaMarcus Aldridge, Josh Smith or Paul Millsap and expect that he would do a good job, whereas we didn't feel the same about Humphries and would dread the matchups against Portland, Atlanta and other teams that employed excellent power forwards.

Although Garnett played a bunch of Center, I won't bother to do a comparison with the Net Centers because Brook Lopez is there & I'm a little lazy right now the Net Centers sucked this year.

So what would I offer Garnett? Well that's the thing, I would not offer him a contract. Now I know what you're probably thinking, "Then why the hell did you write this post then??? He represents a clear upgrade at the power forward position and has qualities that the Nets are lacking, why wouldn't you sign him?" For one, Garnett's own interests. According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald,

If he’s going to play, he has to be playing for something.

This ties into the larger point in my opinion, which is "It's not you Kevin, it's us." Even if Deron Williams resigns here & Brook Lopez is able to bounce back from his foot injury and play at a high level, I don't believe the Nets will be contending for anything useful anytime soon. For an older player like Garnett (don't tell him he's old though), Garnett has no interest in leaving a situation where he's loved by the fans and has a great relationship with the organization in Boston for a new situation in Brooklyn with a team we're not sure will be competing for the Eastern Conference Championship, let alone the Atlantic Division title. As a player, Garnett would be perfect for the Nets, but the situation as it currently stands wouldn't be the right place for Garnett.

Next up in this series? I'll take a look at Gerald Wallace. In the meantime, read up some more on Garnett at CelticsBlog.

Previous installments in this series: Goran Dragic

Ersan Ilyasova

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join NetsDaily

You must be a member of NetsDaily to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at NetsDaily. You should read them.

Join NetsDaily

You must be a member of NetsDaily to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at NetsDaily. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker