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Kevin Garnett worries for Kevin Durant's playstyle at Brooklyn Nets: "He’s in there having to take that punishment and his body is not built for that"

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors
The Brooklyn Nets' lack of size could take a toll on Kevin Durant.

Kevin Durant has been doing a yeoman’s job for the Brooklyn Nets this season. After struggling badly in the playoffs last season, he’s back to his steady and deadly self.

The Nets have made some changes to their roster to better support KD, but still lack size and length on most nights. They’ve basically asked Durant to be the best scorer on one end and the best rebounder and rim protector on defense.

Kevin Garnett, on his podcast, had this to say about what KD’s minutes as a power forward could mean for Brooklyn:

(Starts at the 20:12 mark)

“I watch people bang him. I’ve watched him take more of a physical beating than I’ve seen him over the years. And I think that if you bring in an extra body or a couple of bodies or some beef in there, they take on some of that and you slide him to the three where he’s more natural.
“Him playing the four is an advantage to him on offense but on the defensive end, it’s physical. He’s in there having to rebound, he’s in there having to take that punishment and his body is not built for that. I’m not saying he can't do that but the less wear and tear on KD is better for later on in the season.”
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One of the Brooklyn Nets’ most glaring weaknesses entering the season was their lack of frontline depth. LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin are no longer with the team. The Nets added Markieff Morris, Ben Simmons, Royce O’Neale and Yuta Watanabe to shore up their frontcourt rotation.

The problem is they’re either too small or they haven’t played well enough for Steve Nash or Jacque Vaughn to give them extended minutes. O’Neale is undersized at 6 '4 while Morris has only averaged 10 minutes per game as his offense and rebounding are almost gone.

Watanabe has been sizzling hot, hitting a ridiculous 57.1% of his three-point shots, but he is contributing only 2.9 rebounds. He has the makings of a great defensive player and is probably a good rebounder, but not at this stage in his career.

The Brooklyn Nets have relied on Nic Claxton to handle rebounding and rim protection. When he sits down, it’s been Kevin Durant who has battled for the team on that end.

Add his defensive and rebounding duties to his offensive load, and he could struggle down the road. Kevin Durant is 34 and has had serious injuries in his career already. The Nets can’t afford to run their best player to the ground even before the midway point of the season.


Kevin Garnett has an intriguing solution for the Brooklyn Nets to help Kevin Durant

Helping Kevin Durant might entail getting DeMarcus Cousins or Dwight Howard. [photo: Basketball Forever]
Helping Kevin Durant might entail getting DeMarcus Cousins or Dwight Howard. [photo: Basketball Forever]

The Brooklyn Nets need a big man who can do the team’s dirty job without asking too much on offense. Brooklyn’s salary cap demands that they get a veteran who can play for at least the minimum.

Here’s Kevin Garnett on the Nets’ potential solution to help Kevin Durant:

(Starts at the 11:50 mark)

“They need to call Cousins. … Dwight over there in Taiwan killing! Dwight over there shooting jumpers. Dwight’s in a nice little rhythm. I’ve seen him play a couple of times overseas. … I think he makes an impact on Day 1 as soon as you get him.”
REPORT: DeMarcus Cousins is preparing to sign with a team in Taiwan’s T1 League where Dwight Howard is currently playing. 👀 (via @TaiwanNews886, taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4729784) https://t.co/S5nqjGTdGw

DeMarcus Cousins is reportedly still looking to sign for an NBA team before checking his options elsewhere. He is also rumored to be considering a move to Taiwan to join Dwight Howard there.

Howard has been a sensation in Taiwan, playing for the Taoyuan Leopards. His debut video clip has already gone viral. The former NBA superstar has declared he’s in the best form of his life.

Asking Cousins and Howard to give the Nets 15-20 minutes of solid defense and rebounding may not be too much to ask of them. Keeping Kevin Durant fresh down the stretch may be reason enough to get one or both of these NBA vets.

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Edited by Michael Macasero
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