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Kevin Garnett Is A Center

Ok Doc, I'll play the 5.
Ok Doc, I'll play the 5.

Another question I got a lot in the mailbag was surrounding the issue of Kevin Garnett not really being too keen on playing center and what we should do about the center position. Here's my short response.

Kevin Garnett, like it or not, is a center, and a very good one. In fact, he's one of the best in the league.

Decent power forwards grow on trees in the NBA. You can't throw an elbow without knocking one over. Good to very good centers are scarce. So when you have a guy that can play at an All Star level at either position, you slot him as a center and fill in at power forward with someone else.

The difference between the two positions is minimal anyway. The 4 and 5 share responsibilities on defense and can be interchangeable on offense. There's only one Dwight Howard in the league and adding another middling center isn't going to help against him all that much. You know who does help against him? Good help defense keyed by someone like Kevin Garnett. (Also, I've heard it said that Jason Collins actually does a decent job of somewhat-sorta-making-life-more-uncomfortable to him) In short, Kevin Garnett is the one that makes other teams work to match up with him, not the other way around.

Maybe KG doesn't like to play down low as much as he would like to pick and pop. But he can still do that a lot as a center and his contributions to the team are much greater when he plays off the block anyway. He can list himself at 6'13" and take jumpers from one step inside the 3 point line, as long as he does the work down low as well.

Finally, Garnett is a team-first guy. He's we-not-me. He can't preach that and then not practice it by not agreeing to go along with what is best for the team. Kevin Garnett playing center is best for this team. The end.

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