Monday, September 30, 2013
No Iso Joe, no problem for Johnson
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- There may not be much -- if any -- Iso Joe this season.
But Joe Johnson is completely cool with that.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Johnson said Monday of playing in first-year coach Jason Kidd’s offense, which is expected to be predicated more on ball movement and spacing than isolation sets.
The Nets finished ninth in offensive efficiency last season, though they were inconsistent scoring the ball, often struggling for long stretches because they rarely got easy buckets in transition.
“This year, I don’t think you can load up [on one guy] and double- and triple-team. If you do, you’re probably gonna pay the price. That’s probably gonna be more fun than anything.”
Johnson, now 32, had a bumpy first season in Brooklyn, averaging 16.3 points on 42.3 percent shooting. He battled a bad case of plantar fasciitis at the end of the season, and shot just 2-for-14 from the field in the team’s elimination loss in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs.
“My heel is great. My plantar fasciitis is gone,” Johnson said. “I’ve done the necessary things I needed to do over the summer to keep it calmed down, and I just kept working hard and kept my weight down so I didn’t put too much pressure on it.”
Given his last-minute scoring prowess last season, Johnson is the guy Kidd wants to have the ball late in games. Johnson took Kidd’s comment as a compliment, but noted it would probably depend on who’s hot.
“I think we’re all at a point in our careers where (wanting to be the No. 1 option) is all behind us and we’re all a lot older and later in our careers to the point where statistically guys will check their egos at the door,” he said.
Johnson averaged 36.7 minutes per game in 2012-13, something he figures will change given how much depth the Nets have on their roster.
“I would probably say it’s one of the best basketball teams that I’ve ever been a part of,” Johnson said.