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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Nets' Joe Johnson sits out practice

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson did not practice Wednesday due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot and will be listed as a game-time decision for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Johnson said he's "hopeful" to play.

"I'm a little sore, but I'll be able to give them what I got," Johnson said. "We've battled, we've been through ups and downs all year. For us to come this far, I'm gonna do whatever I can to be out there."

Johnson aggravated the injury, which has been nagging him since February, in the first quarter of his team's 90-82 Game 2 loss on Monday night.

"I think it was a little bit of plantar in February when it first started, but now it's deep into the plantar fasciitis," Johnson said. "It'll be something I just have to fight through."

For their part, the Bulls say they expect to see Johnson on the court Thursday in Chicago.

"Oh, he'll play. Don't worry," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Wednesday. "Joe's a great player. In his career he's done amazing things. He shoots the ball, he puts it on the floor, he can post, he can pass. I got great respect for what he's done in the league."

"Yeah, he'll be out there," said Jimmy Butler, who's been tasked with guarding Johnson. "I feel like he's a key part of their team ... I'm sure he'll rest up and be ready to go."

Bulls center Joakim Noah is dealing with the same injury, which has limited him to 38 minutes in the first two games of the series.

"Yeah, but it's a little different for me and Noah," Johnson said. "I'm chasing guys off screens, penetrating and cutting, and he's a big man so it's a lot different."

Johnson said he's putting ice on his foot to treat it. He thinks "mentally" he could've played if Game 3 were Wednesday.

Johnson missed 10 games during the regular season due to injury -- four of them the result of what the team called a "sore left heel."

In the first two games of the playoffs, the 31-year-old veteran is averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists and shooting 41.9 percent from the field.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell was used in this report.