Joe Johnson sits out Wednesday's practice, will be game-time decision for Thursday's Game 3
The six-time All-Star, who is officially listed as a game-time decision for Thursday’s tilt in Chicago, missed 10 games this season due to injury, four of which were because of what was termed a “sore left heel.” Johnson told the media Wednesday that the injury has been nagging him for more than two months, and he re-aggravated it during the first quarter of Monday’s Game 2.
"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."
Johnson still played 39 minutes in Monday’s game, scoring 17 points on 6-for-18 shooting, and said he’d do everything he could to be a big part of the rotation on Thursday.
"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 going to do whatever I can to be out there."
Johnson also said that he would’ve been “mentally ready” to play if Game 3 were Wednesday instead of Thursday, and losing him would be a big blow to the Nets offense, as the shooting guard is averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the first two games and has shot 41.9 percent from the field.
Bulls forward Joakim Noah has also been battling plantar fasciitis of late, with his injury to his right foot, but Johnson said he believes his condition is more detrimental due to his role as a guard.
“I’m chasing guys off screens, penetrating and cutting, and he’s a big man so it’s a lot different,” Johnson said.
While Johnson played 39 minutes in Game 2 alone, Noah has played just about 39 total in both games combined, and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he was impressed with how Noah is basically performing “on will” after the big man tallied a double-double in 25 minutes Monday.
“Joakim’s giving us everything he has and he’s doing a lot of it on will,” Thibodeau said. “He’s done a lot of great things for us over the years, but he hasn’t practiced much since the All-Star break, and to his credit, he’s willing it.”
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