Friday, January 18, 2013
Johnson thinks he's an All-Star
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson has been to the All-Star Game the past six seasons. And he believes he’s deserving of a seventh straight appearance.
“Definitely,” Johnson said. “You gonna keep double- and triple-teaming me as hard as people doing.”
Then he laughed.
Johnson, 31, is averaging 18.1 points on 44.9 percent shooting in his past 11 games. But in his return to Atlanta, his former team double-teamed him on seemingly every possession, and held him to 4-for-15 from the floor.
“I expected to get doubled. I just didn’t think to that extent,” Johnson said. “They did everything they could to get the ball out of my hands.”
The Hawks (22-16) snapped the Nets' seven-game winning streak because they played at a high tempo, scoring 29 fast-break points. The Nets (23-16), playing the second half of a back-to-back, went 4-for-26 from 3-point range.
“I just want us to come out and be the team that we have been in 2013,” Johnson said. “That last game, that wasn’t us.”
Asked who he felt was most deserving to be an All-Star reserve, Johnson responded, “If I had to pick, I’d probably say Brook (Lopez)."
Atlanta will get back Josh Smith for Friday's rematch, after he served a one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. Johnson said he was glad to be able to go against his ex-teammate, but didn’t want the focus to be on him getting revenge against the Hawks or anything like that.
• Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo doesn't yet know if small forward Gerald Wallace will start. But it sounds as though Wallace's minutes are going to increase.