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Thursday, October 18, 2012
Johnson: We can turn last season around

By Mike Mazzeo

• In 2007, the Celtics, led by their newly formed Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, won the championship after being terrible for many years.

So what can the Nets, with nine newcomers, take from that?

“We know it’s possible where you can go from being a sub-.500 team in our case and you can turn it around. It can be turned around,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said. “Sometimes you can turn it around to being a playoff team or a championship team, so it can be done.

“We’ve got question marks. We understand that. We haven’t played together. We haven’t even been through a full preseason yet. ... Nothing is impossible in this league. ... We’ve just gotta take it one day at a time.”

• The Spurs have managed veteran Tim Duncan’s minutes, sometimes keeping him out of games just to rest him. The Celtics have done the same thing with KG.

So would Avery Johnson think about resting Deron Williams, Joe Johnson or Brook Lopez to keep them fresh over the grind of the 82-game schedule?

“Initially I’ll say no because we’re in a different situation,” Avery Johnson replied. “We haven’t won a championship. We haven’t been together long. Our guys that have even fought some injuries are a lot younger, but we’re gonna let their bodies tell us what we need to do.

“Over the last two years, we’ve been injured enough for a lifetime.”

• Avery Johnson said he’d like to see his starters play in the fourth quarter on either Thursday or Friday night -- perhaps both.

“I want to see our starters play in back to back games,” Johnson said. “One or both of these games, I’d like to finish with our starters, we need to play in the fourth quarter.”