Though his health may be good, Garnett has struggled with his shot.
The Brooklyn Nets hope that the veteran is just off to a cold start and not dangerously close to empty in the fuel tank in the twilight of his All-Star career.
Garnett continues to keep his head up through a frustrating minutes restriction designed to keep his 37-year-old body healthy for the postseason. He vows to do the only thing he knows how to do: work through this slump.
“One dribble pull up, I work on that,” Garnett said. “When I dial that number, I expect for it to pick up, and she didn’t pick up. I don’t know what’s wrong, if it’s a disconnect, her phone don’t work or what? I put that work in for that shot to go down, and nine out of 10 times I make that.”
“I think everybody here is embarrassed. You definitely don’t want [to be booed] at home. Like I’ve been saying, we’re going to continue to work to try to change this as best we can. I’m just trying to give this team something, man. I’m not shooting the ball the way I want to, but my primary thing is defense right now. So I’m trying to focus on just that now.”
Garnett, who is regularly being held out for rest purposes during the Nets’ back-to-back games, wants to deliver the on-court production the Nets need out of him by Christmas. At the moment, Brooklyn is struggling near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. For head coach Jason Kidd, there is no organizational pressure on the forward to be the star.
“He came here as being a role player,” Kidd said. “He’s not looking to be the focal point or the main guy. He’s a great teammate, but he’s also looked upon as one of the leaders in that locker room.”
As he searches for a comfort zone with his new team, Garnett wants to deliver in the clutch. Provided, of course, his 37-year-old body cooperates.
“I’m trying to figure out my role here, and understand it, and play it to the best of my ability,” Garnett said. “I’m just trying to make it easy for the other guys here and vice versa. A couple of guys told me to keep my head up and gave me some good words of encouragement [Saturday]. It’s coming.”