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Kevin Garnett plans return to Nets lineup early next week

Mar 31, 2014, 5:29 PM EDT

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The Brooklyn Nets have been an amazing 12-4 since they lost Kevin Garnett to back spasms, they solidified themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff standings in his absence.

However Brooklyn’s defense has started to falter of late and the Nets will not last long in the postseason without KG.

So it’s a good thing they are getting him back soon, likely early next week.

First came this report from Barbara Marker at Newsday.

Garnett, who has been suffering from back spasms, missed his 16th straight game Sunday night. He hopes to return Saturday against Philadelphia, April 8 at Miami or April 9 at Orlando.

Then her Newsday colleague Rod Boone tweeted this.

This is good news for Brooklyn, a team that has seen it’s defense falter some lately and needs its defensive quarterback back.

The Nets are currently the five seed and likely will either get Chicago (the current four seed) or Toronto (the three seed but with a tougher schedule down the stretch than Chicago) in the first round. Either of those would be pretty even series, but with Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko the Nets may well be favorites. This is a team that found its identity going small and since then has won a lot of games and could well advance to the second round of the playoffs if healthy.

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