Starting Five: Back-to-back Kryptonite

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets stink in the second game of back-to-back sets.

They are 2-9 in such games this season -- including 0-5 in the second game of home/away back-to-backs.

“A lot hasn’t went our way on the second half of back-to-backs, whether it’s getting in very late or something. There’s always something extra that kinda keeps us up a little bit,” Joe Johnson said. “But no excuses. We just haven’t been getting it done on back-to-backs and a lot of times we’ve been missing KG on back-to-backs and he’s a big piece of what we do.”

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

#2 PF
Brooklyn Nets

2014 STATS

  • GM44
  • PPG6.9

  • RPG6.8

  • APG1.5

  • FG%.431

  • FT%.872

Ah, yes. The Kevin Garnett factor.

Let’s take at Garnett’s statistics in the second game of home/away back-to-backs:

12/13 (103-99 loss in Detroit): four points, 2-for-8 shooting

12/28 (105-91 loss in Indiana): two points, 1-for-5 shooting

1/11 (96-80 loss in Toronto): DNP-rest

2/1 (97-96 loss in Indiana): 12 points, 6-for-9 shooting

2/7 (111-95 loss in Detroit): DNP-rest

So ... Garnett struggled in a pair of December games (he shot 36.1 percent in 13 games that month) and excelled in his lone February game (he is shooting 57.1 percent in five games this month).

Not much there.

Nets coach Jason Kidd has done a great job of managing his 37-year-old veteran center’s minutes. Garnett is averaging just 18.2 minutes per game in February, and he’s been quite productive in his time on the court.

Kidd said he hadn’t spoken with Garnett yet when asked if he had decided whether Garnett would play Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls at United Center.

With the All-Star break coming up, you’d think Garnett will give it a go, but we’ll see.

As for Deron Williams? Well, he’s seeking revenge.

“We definitely owe them for Christmas,” Williams said, referring to his team’s 17-point home loss to Chicago on that day.

Question: Why do you think the Nets have struggled so much in the second game of back-to-back sets this season? Would you play KG Thursday night? Let us know in the comments section.

In case you missed it: Paul Pierce and KG were great in Wednesday night’s win over the Charlotte Bobcats, while Pierce realizes the importance of the team’s upcoming seven-game road trip.

Stat of the day: The Nets play 20 back-to-back sets this season. They played an NBA-high 23 last season.

Up next: Nets at Bulls, Thursday night at United Center