KG back, literally.
Kevin Garnett made his return to the floor after missing 19 straight games and played exceptionally well. Garnett played just 13 minutes in Philadelphia and sat the last 21 minutes of the game, but he looked great for a guy who has been out for more than a month.
Garnett scored 10 points on four-of-five shooting and grabbed four rebounds. In limited minutes, and his first game back, Garnett exceeded expectations and debunked the theory that he will need several games to get reacquainted with the Nets system.
From the onset of the game one could see that KG was ready to play. Even on this first possession, Garnett moves all over the floor setting several screens along the perimeter followed by fine rolls to the basket. Garnett also does a fantastic job of sealing Thaddeus Young, which gives Paul Pierce an easy lane to drive and finish.
Garnett's defense is special; he would make high school coaches around the country proud with his attention to detail and fine fundamental skills that have become a lost art in the NBA.
KG lets both of his guards-Shaun Livingston and Deron Williams-go over him but still under the screen, allowing them to recover faster and cut off their mans path to the hoop. Garnett goes under because he can allow his man, in this case Henry Sims, to have some space near the three-point line.
Garnett also boxes out Sims and holds his box out for as long as possible. The ball ends up bouncing long off of the rim, but Sims was putting so much effort into getting himself to the hoop that he can't recover and grab the ball.
KG does the little things that go unnoticed on the floor during the course of the game, but it is defensive adjustments that he makes that have made the Nets such a defensive power.
One game-13 minutes at that-is a very small sample to say Kevin Garnett is fully back and that the Nets are going to new heights. However, Garnett did continue to play well in several facets of his game that he was before his back spasms such as his nifty mid-range jumper, and his fine defensive ability. When Garnett is on the floor, the Nets are a different team. KG was a team-best +16 when he was in the game.
Sure, the Sixers are one of the worst teams in the league, but Garnett could have used a poor opponent to measure himself to see if he is game ready. Last night proved that he is indeed ready to play. I mean, look at what he did.