NFL

Nets ailing G Joe Johnson in starting lineup against Bulls

4/25/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

Brooklyn Nets injured shooting guard Joe Johnson returned to the team’s starting lineup on Thursday as the Nets played the Chicago Bulls in Game 3, for their first road game in the opening-round of the Eastern Conference series on Thursday.
 
Joe Johnson has been bothered by a nagging foot injury, which has been described more as a painful plantar in his left heel. The 31-year-old Joe Johnson initially aggravated the foot injury during the first-quarter of Brooklyn Nets’ 90-82 loss to Chicago Bulls on Monday. Joe Johnson finished with 17 points on 6-of-18 shooting, while logging 39 minutes in the Game 2.
 
"It's part of the game. He's been battling it, and that foot has been a problem. He's very, very important to what we do," said Brooklyn Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo of Joe Johnson’s condition, before announcing he will be starting against the Chicago Bulls in Game 3 in the first-round of Eastern Conference series. "If Joe can play, we've just got to evaluate and see what he looks like and how much he's going to be able to give us and just go from there."
 
Brooklyn Nets backup guard C.J. Watson was slated for increased playing time incase Joe Johnson couldn’t stay on court for his usual 30-minutes plus per game. Despite whatever limitations may follow Joe Johnson, his return is welcome news to for the Brooklyn Nets who otherwise risked losing a 16-point per game scorer in early postseason.
 
"We didn't anticipate this. We thought it was going the other way until I guess the first quarter the other night. We'll just deal with it," P.J. Carlesimo said of the impact of Joe Johnson’s injury on the Brooklyn Nets. "They're dealing with things also. Hopefully, he's going to be able to play if not tonight, Saturday or soon. Hopefully he'll be able to play somewhat the way he's capable of playing. It's going to be difficult."
 
The Brooklyn Nets are tied 1-1, heading into Game 3 against the Chicago Bulls at United Center. Over the next two games (including Thursday’s) the Brooklyn Nets lose homecourt advantage to the Chicago Bulls. But P.J. Carlesimo was still confident that his team would excel on the road, as they have done all season, ranking seventh in the league with a 23-18 record on the road. While the Brooklyn Nets saw a drop in their offensive play while on the road, the team appeared to be doing a little better in terms of defense.
 
"The fact that we played well on the road all year gives us reason to be confident,” said P.J. Carlesimo. “The road has been good to us, so hopefully it will continue to be.”
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