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Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Johnson game-time decision, Bogans out

By Mike Mazzeo

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson will be a game-time decision for Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, the team announced.

Johnson continues to deal with a sore left heel. The 31-year-old veteran is 9-for-27 from the field in two games since returning to the lineup after missing five games due to injury.

“I think it’s a good chance I will play, but I don’t know, I can’t read their minds,” said Johnson, who is averaging just 13.3 points on 40.9 percent shooting in his last 12 games. “So we’ll have to see when I get to the arena tonight.”

Reserve guard Keith Bogans is out due to a tight lower back, and is likely to miss Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Celtics as well, according to interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

The Nets (44-32) and five other Eastern Conference playoff teams close the regular season with six games in nine days. Brooklyn leads the Chicago Bulls (42-34) by two games in the race for the No. 4 seed.

Carlesimo said he wants to place more of a priority on health rather than homecourt advantage.

“I looked at the schedule, and it’s really surprising to me. Six of the eight of us that are in the playoffs have six games left in nine days, which is, to me, astounding,” Carlesimo said.

“We have three (games) in four (nights) and then three in four going into the playoffs which shocked me. But six of the eight teams have the same thing. Boston only has five and Atlanta has four.

“Again, the No. 1 priority is Joe. First of all we’ve got see see can Joe go tonight, and if he can go, how’s he feel. He probably was a little stiff in the fourth quarter the other night, so we need to manage Joe.

“Secondly, we need to keep winning games. We literally may reach a point where we say hey, it ain’t worth stretching out minutes, it ain’t worth stretching out guys that are injured. If it costs us homecourt, it costs us homecourt. I don’t wanna go there but, I’m concerned getting through this six and nine first of all health-wise in terms of getting Joe and Bogs and right now, even Gerald (Wallace). I think (Gerald’s) worst is behind him, but I want to make sure he stays good, and I don’t want to tax his minutes.

“I think we’re gonna look at other people perhaps a bit more or not go big, big minutes at least in back-to-backs. If we go big minutes tonight, we’re probably not going to go big minutes tomorrow. It would be great if we could get through tonight and have something in the tank for tomorrow, but I really think we’ve gotta go day-to-day. I’m looking at it very cautiously and I’m very concerned with what we have left.”