But they could be getting back their defensive anchor just in time for the playoffs.
Via Newsday, Garnett is targeting a return within the next week.
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.
Returning early next week would give Garnett a handful of games to get his legs back under him and back in game shape and prepared for their first round matchup.
The Nets have gone 12-4 with Garnett sidelined, doing it mostly by playing small lineups and relying on rookie Mason Plumlee, who has been very solid.
But Garnett is a key ingredient to the Nets, particularly if they have high postseason hopes. Things like leadership, toughness and intanglibes are often overplayed, but Garnett carries himself extremely well and still can communicate and play at a high level at times. He's had a poor regular season, showing signs of age as well as battling against injuries, but keyed up for a postseason series, he could be a difference-maker.