Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Joe Johnson: 'Basically, I'm a decoy'
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson admitted that he's essentially playing on one leg at this point, and probably wouldn't be playing if it were the regular season.
Johnson is currently hampered by plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Despite his foot injury, Joe Johnson has hit some big shots for the Nets in this series.
"I can't really push the basketball if I get a rebound, I can't really run pick-and-rolls, so basically I'm a decoy, a spot-up shooter. I can't really do a whole lot," Johnson said. "Like I told Deron [Williams] and Brook [Lopez], I'll be the bailout guy. If you get into a sticky situation, just try and find me."
Johnson is averaging 16.2 points on 44.7 percent shooting in 39 minutes per game during the first five games of his team's first-round series against the Chicago Bulls. Game 6 is Thursday night at United Center; the Nets need to win to avoid elimination.
"I'm not concerned that Joe's playing injured [and] I'm not worried that he's going injure it any more," interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "It is what it is. He's playing, hindered or whatever is the correct word, and it's just he's dealing with it. I think that people probably don't appreciate what he's going through every game to go out there and to play.
"My doctors and trainers and Joe himself, we wouldn't put him out there if there was a chance he would injure it anymore. It's injured. He's done the damage right now and playing on it is not hurting it anymore."
Carlesimo gives Johnson credit for gutting it out.
"That's what warriors do. Everybody doesn't do that," Carlesimo said. "That's what guys who are warriors, guy who really are competitors, that's what they do."
Also on the injury front, backup center Andray Blatche (right calf strain) said he's going to receive treatment and hopes to be 90 percent by game time Thursday night. Blatche said he can give the Nets as many minutes as Carlesimo wants to give him.
Power forward Reggie Evans (illness) was not at practice, but will travel to Chicago and is expected to play in Game 6.