MIAMI –- After having his two best games of the playoffs for the Nets at the end of the first round, Kevin Garnett failed to score a point in a postseason game for the first time in his illustrious career.
If there’s any Net who would like to erase Game 1 against the Heat from his memory banks, it’s Garnett. Still, Garnett didn’t gripe or complain about playing just 15 minutes and finishing scoreless in that 107-86 loss to the Heat.
“Listen, coming here I knew that my scoring was going to be subjective,” Garnett said before the Nets’ morning shootaround. “I knew I was giving up things coming here. I understand that.
“I'm not going to be a distraction or complain about things that I kind of anticipated,” Garnett continued. “Whatever J [Jason Kidd] needs me to be on this team, I’ve tried to be and will continue try to be. I'm not going to come off and be a distraction at this point.”
Garnett took just two shots and grabbed four rebounds in Game 1. He did play a brief minute during the fourth quarter but finished scoreless for the first time in 139 playoff games. The only other starter to play in the last quarter was Shaun Livingston.
When Garnett wasn't on the floor, he was busy coaching and directing players on the bench during timeouts.
“I am far from a coach,” he said with a chuckle when asked about being caught by cameras giving directions to teammates. “I give some advice, I suggest things I have seen from obviously perspective but other than that, I am far from a coach. I am passionate about what I talk about, though, when I am talking about it.”
So what did he tell his teammates?
“None yo,” Garnett cracked, meaning none of your business.
“We won’t see that for the rest of the series,” Bosh said. “It would be foolish to really think we can hang our hats on that, so we expect them to be more aggressive of course. But they're going to have to match our intensity.”
Before Wednesday’s practice, Garnett and Pierce opted not to talk to reporters. During Thursday’s shootaround, Pierce remained mum again. Pierce generally speaks at the shootarounds on the road, so perhaps he is already bringing that intensity.
Garnett certainly has tried letting his teammates know how they need to bring it tonight. Considering that Garnett had 12 points and 11 rebounds in the deciding Game 7 in Toronto, the veteran big man has shown what he still has left in his 37-year-old tank when the Nets need him most. It also would not be surprising if Garnett or Pierce deliver a few hard fouls tonight to set a tone after the Nets played soft defensively in the paint in Game 1.
“I’ve shared everything I’ve known [so they] understand the severity of where we are,” Garnett said. “To not overreact but to learn from the mistakes we made and to apply the things we actually learned.”