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Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.

Joe Johnson to sit out versus Hornets

Atlanta Hawks' Josh Smith and Kyle Korver block

Atlanta Hawks' Josh Smith and Kyle Korver block an attempted basket by Nets guard Joe Johnson in the first half. (March 9, 2013) (Credit: AP)

Joe Johnson won't be hitting any big shots against the Hornets Tuesday night.

Johnson's sore left heel apparently isn't feeling all that great and he's inactive for their matchup with New Orleans at the Barclays Center. C.J. Watson will start in Johnson's place.

With Tuesday night's game being the second end of a back-to-back and the Nets having four days in between games before they play the Hawks Sunday, P.J. Carlesimo suggested it would be prudent to give him some extended time off so he can heal up.

"It has it's good and bad days, man," Johnson told me Monday in Philadelphia. "Some days it feels pretty good and then some days not so good. But I think I'm headed in the right direction as far as just trying to get it to feel close to 100 percent. Obviously, this is not something that I want to linger on, especially when the playoffs start. So we are just going to take our time with it and see how it goes."

Since the injury first cropped up around the All-Star break, Johnson, at times, has been limited in practice. There's always the possibility he may sit out during more practices as the season winds down, but he's not going to do that unless it's necessary and trainer Tim Walsh believes it's the appropriate way to go.

"It just depends on how I feel," he added Monday. "Obviously, I don't want to take to much time of as far as when I lose my timing. But if I have to take some practice time off, I'm sure I'll do that. But right now, we are just trying to get this thing to calm down."

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