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Monday, March 11, 2013
P.J. hopes to play Brooks more in Philly

By Mike Mazzeo

PHILADELPHIA -- Brooklyn Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo doesn't expect to go with a nine-man rotation again Monday night in Philadelphia.

Carlesimo sat both MarShon Brooks (until the final 3½ minutes, when the game was well in hand) and Kris Humphries (for a third straight game) on Saturday night in Atlanta.

MarShon Brooks
MarShon Brooks
The Nets had gone with a "tight" 10-man rotation in their previous two games.

"It was matchups," Carlesimo said of sitting Brooks. "It's just a question of what the matchups are like. I think tonight will be different. It'll depend on who they start, too, but tonight it'll probably be different."

The Nets are 3-0 since Carlesimo tightened the rotation.

"I just think we're gonna do it for a little while and then see," he said. "It's really less right now the rotation than it is getting Mirza [Teletovic] playing time and looking at Mirza.

"I'd still like MarShon to get some playing time, in a perfect world. It's really more still looking at individuals and figuring out who's going to be in the rotation and who's going to be out."

'HUGE' JUNCTURE OF SEASON: The Nets (37-26) currently trail the New York Knicks (38-22) by 2½ games in the Atlantic Division. The Knicks are embarking on a five-game West Coast road trip.

The Nets are in the middle of a stretch of four games in five nights before they face Atlanta on Sunday night at home and then head out for their eight-game, 17-day circus trip.

"This stretch is huge for us," Carlesimo said. "This stretch of four games in five nights is huge for us."

WOE IS JOE: Joe Johnson's struggles of late have been well-documented. Johnson just doesn't look like the same player since injuring his left heel.

He's averaging just 11.6 points on 42.4 percent shooting in his past five games. Johnson has also gotten to the free throw line just twice over that span.

Perhaps this stretch of four days off following Tuesday night's game against New Orleans will be what he needs to get healthy.