Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Sore heel will sideline Joe Johnson tonight
Turns out Deron Williams isn't then only member of the Nets' starting backcourt who's banged up.
Barely two hours after Williams revealed that Thursday's regularly-scheduled round of cortisone shots marked the third time he's had them this season -- the public thinking was he only had one round previously -- Billy King said Joe Johnson won't play versus the Rockets Friday night.
The Nets GM, speaking on ESPN 98.7's "Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show," said Johnson is dealing with some plantar fasciitis that crept up earlier this week and was first detectable in the Nets' win in Milwaukee Wednesday.
King said Johnson's injury has improved over the last day, but not enough to have him suit up against Houston. So he'll sit out for the first time this season.
"It's going to be day-to-day," King said. "It's better than it was two days ago. So they've got him on medication and I expect it to be much better tomorrow, and then we'll see where he is Sunday. If it's still where it's tender and sore, we may keep him out because this is a marathon we are trying to finish, not a sprint."
King didn't seem overly concerned that Johnson's injury could be a long-term issue.
"No, I'm not," he said. It's something that if this was a playoff game, he'd probably push it. But with it not being [one], we are going to be a little cautious on it."
As for Williams, he said he felt a little better after another round of cortisone shots. He said he had a second round just before January, which wasn't known publicly until Friday, to go with the one he received at the outset of training camp in October. He plans on having another round prior to the playoffs in April.
Williams said resting for an extended period of time, which is the only true way for him to get healthy, isn't an option at this point. So he's going to have to be smart about it. P.J. Carlesimo suggested they'll find ways to get Williams some rest down he stretch so he's fresh for the playoffs.
“It’s tough because we’re in a position where we are right now in the [standings], we lose a couple games we slip to sixth or seventh," Williams said after Friday morning's shootaround at the PNY Center. "We win a couple and we’re up to second so I need to be out there as much as possible. That’s what my focus is and I’ll continue doing things in the training room and the weight room just to stay as healthy and fresh as possible."
He added: “I don’t want to [take a month off]. I’ve gotten frustrated some nights where I can’t do anything, can’t go anywhere. It’s frustrating and that’s how you want to think, but I can’t do that.”