Nets Notebook: Joe Johnson gets rest day
Joe Johnson has not suffered a setback on his sore left heel or any other injury, but since the Nets have four days before their next game against Atlanta, followed an eight-game road trip that begins next Monday in Detroit, interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo decided it was a good time to give his shooting guard a night off.
Johnson missed three games when the injury initially flared up before the All-Star break. In six games since returning, Johnson has averaged 13 points per game while shooting 57.1 percent.
“We’re just concerned with four [games] in five [days] and the little bit of the mentality that we had going into the All-Star break,” Carlesimo said. “You have four days [off], so you’re tempted to say we hold him out one more it’ll give him five days to get healthy.”
Johnson did not participate in pregame shooting and was replaced by C.J. Watson in the starting lineup.
Carlesimo still confident in Wallace
Things have not gone well for Gerald Wallace as of late, especially offensively. His numbers have dipped to 8.3 points per game and 40.7 percent shooting.
Those numbers are even worse recently. He has scored 31 total points over his last five games and is shooting 31.2 percent. Wallace scored four points on 2-of-8 shooting Monday in Philadelphia, marking the 11th straight game he failed to top double figures.
Wallace has scored in double figures just seven times since recording a 25-point night in a double overtime win over Detroit on Dec. 14.
“I’m not overly concerned,” Carlesimo said. “Gerald brings 18 things to the table that are as or more important than if he’s not shooting the ball well or if he’s struggling offensively.”
One of the things Carlesimo cited was his defensive performance two weeks ago in Brooklyn’s 101-97 win at New Orleans. Carlesimo felt Wallace’s defense helped alter at least seven shots.
“I just think that he’s so important to us because of the intensity with which he competes — his defense,” Carlesimo said. “We often put him on the two, three, occasionally the four and occasionally the one — the best guy out there.”
Lopez twins square off
Last night marked the eighth time twin brothers Brook and Robin Lopez squared off since both were first-round picks out of Stanford in 2008.
Robin played sparingly when he was with the Suns, but as a Hornet he is averaging career highs of 25:36 minutes, 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Two weeks ago, Brook Lopez outscored Robin Lopez, 20-14, as the twins combined for 14-of-23 shooting.
“What are the chances of one household that produces two guys that are starting centers in the NBA? It’s incredible,” Carlesimo said. “It’s really an amazing thing.”
As for the differences between the two, Carlesimo views Robin as more of a rebounder and energy type while Brook is someone who plays more under control.
“Their size is still the biggest thing,” Carlesimo said. “They have a number of things that are common and there’s a number of things that are distinctly different.”
Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.