Garnett has missed the last two games due to back spasms.
“I think there’s improvement,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said Tuesday after his team practiced at Barclays Center. “He was walking around, so ... [we’ll have to see].”
Garnett has been the team’s anchor on defense, quarterbacking that end of the floor. The Nets have suffered all season defensively with Garnett on the bench, giving up a whooping 106.4 points per 100 possessions. (They give up 100.6 when he’s on the court).
Deron Williams said that Kidd “kind of challenged” his other bigs during a recent game, pointing out that they struggle on “D” without KG.
“I think those guys have taken that to heart and have wanted to prove him and wrong and they’re coming out and playing great and inspired defense,” Williams said.
The Nets held the Bulls to just 80 points Monday night while amassing an NBA season-high tying 19 steals and turning a season-high 28 Chicago turnovers into 30 points.
“I thought Dray [Andray Blatche] was great last night, fighting in the post, (having) active hands,” Kidd said. “Mason [Plumlee] starting the game, but I thought our bigs did a wonderful job of competing and also being able to help the smalls, and so I thought it was a great effort by our bigs.”
The Nets, who have thrived playing a smaller lineup, rank 29th in rebounding, so they need to get it done in other areas.
“Getting our hands on balls and being able to get deflections and steals helped us in that game last night,” Kidd said. “And it’s helped us throughout the season.”
Kidd perfectly summed up his team’s defensive performance Monday night.
“I thought for 48 minutes, I thought maybe they were the most consistent defensively,” he said. “Being active, helping one another. Again, I asked those guys how many backdoors and they all knew the answer, so that just shows that they’re in-tuned in executing the gameplan.”
“Zero,” Kidd responded.