Hybrid forwards, meet Damion James

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
4:24
PM ET
LeBron James. Danny Granger. Carmelo Anthony. Thaddeus Young.

Nets coach Avery Johnson could’ve gone on and on about all the hybrid forwards that torched his team last season. But Johnson hopes the answer to those woes is already on his roster.

The Nets coach told reporters Monday that second-year pro Damion James will likely see a lot of minutes guarding smaller, more versatile 4s this season.

“That’s something we wanna do this year,” Johnson said. “We had small 4s that really gave us some problems last year.

“He’s [6-foot-7], can run and jump, play defense and put some pressure on those 4s. He’s getting a good luck, and hopefully he’ll be able to give us some minutes.”

The 24-year-old James is ready to take on the challenge.

“I played every position in college,” said James, who went to Texas. “I’m big and I’m strong enough to play the 4 spot as well. I just look forward to playing.”

James was limited to just 25 games in 2010-11 due to a broken foot.

However, he says he feels 100 percent right now.

“I’m able to run and jump like I used to, so it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I haven’t felt pain in so long, maybe six-seven months I’ve been feeling good.”

C ... FOR NOW: The Nets are planning to move Brook Lopez to the power forward position -- that is if they can find a suitable physical frontcourt complement or they don’t trade him. But because the Nets haven’t made an official offseason additions yet, Lopez continues to play center.

Johnson said Lopez has done just fine handling any trade rumors involving himself and Orlando superstar Dwight Howard.

“He’s working hard in practice, he’s offensive rebounding, trying to do a better job protecting the paint and putting in some hard fouls,” Johnson said. “We understand what type of society we live in [with rumors circulating over Facebook and Twitter], but there’s been no drop-off in his performance.”

INJURY NOTE: Point guard Jordan Farmar sported a bandage over his face at practice on Monday.

“I think he fell on the floor, so I think his lip met the floor and the floor got the best of him,” Johnson said.

LIMITED MENU: Johnson said the team is still working with a limited offensive menu, but continues to expand its offensive sets and plays each and every practice during training camp.

“Just some pick and rolls,” point guard Deron Williams said when asked what’s been implemented recently. “Everything now is pretty basic.”

JUST TWO: Rookie first-round pick MarShon Brooks said he’s been playing a lot of shooting guard, and hasn’t really been given that much of an opportunity to handle the ball. At this point in his young career, though, that’s not really something to fret over.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Brook Lopez
PTS AST STL MIN
20.7 0.9 0.5 31.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 6.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.1
StealsD. Williams 1.5
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8