Kevin Garnett struggling to adjust
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Kevin Garnett has yet to score in double digits as a Net. In six games, he's averaging only 6.0 points and shooting 32 percent from the field. He's struggled defensively against players he once would have shut down.
So what is the matter with Garnett? Nothing that a few more games in a Brooklyn Nets uniform won't cure, longtime teammate Paul Pierce says.
"I think he's still trying to make the adjustment," Pierce said Monday after a team practice at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn. "He's still getting familiar with the offense and understanding where his shots are going to come from, his minutes played and adjustments."
Garnett was not available to talk to the media on Monday, but after the Nets' 96-91 loss to the Pacers on Saturday, he told reporters that he has to "quit thinking and be more aggressive."
Garnett, 37, had six points and eight rebounds in that loss. He also committed two of the Nets' six fourth-quarter turnovers.
There were high hopes for the Nets after they traded for Garnett in the offseason. He and Pierce were expected to inject instant swagger and playoff experience into a team that was lacking on both counts. It's still early and the Nets did post one notable win over the Heat in their second game of the season, but they are an unexpected 2-4 as they begin a three-game road trip against Sacramento, Phoenix and the Clippers.
Pierce said it is not unusual for Garnett to take some time to get used to his surroundings.
"It's an adjustment every year," Pierce said. "Even on the Celtics, the older he's got, his minutes have gone down and he's been asked to do less. He's going to find his rhythm eventually and really find his groove, I'm pretty sure."
How out of his groove is Garnett? Consider that not once last season did he post two consecutive games in single figures. Right now, he has six in a row. Still, coach Jason Kidd believes it is something that will work itself out.
"I'm not going to have him come in early or shoot late," Kidd said. "He's been doing it for 20 years. My job is to put him in his comfort zone. There's nothing we're going to change. He's getting great looks . . . Some of them are just in and out. That's just basketball."
Notes & quotes: Andrei Kirilenko, who missed the Pacers game because of back spasms, did not practice with the team. Kidd said he is day-to-day . . . Air Force Tech. Sgt. Derek Bishop, who grew up in Huntington Station, played an instrumental role in making the Nets' Veterans Day practice at Fort Hamilton happen. Bishop, who is stationed in Orlando, Fla., has coordinated color guard presentations for the Nets previously. After the practice, he presented the team a flag that had flown over the World Trade Center site on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.