Nets Insider: Joe Johnson not thrilled about shootarounds in New Jersey

Joe Johnson controls the ball during a game Joe Johnson controls the ball during a game against the Sacramento Kings at Barclays Center. (Jan. 5, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Roderick Boone Newsday columnist Roderick Boone

Roderick Boone is a sports reporter covering the New York Jets. He began his Newsday career covering college ...

Joe Johnson looked out on the court as his teammates were getting warmed up, preparing to go through their various shootaround routines.

He wasn't ready to call for a mutiny, but it wouldn't have worked even if he had tried.

"This was not my decision. I live in Manhattan," Johnson said, his Southern accent kicking in. "So you know I ain't fixing to have no shootaround over here. I was overruled."

Like anyone else in our area who prefers a shorter commute to work over a battle with the unpredictable traffic nightmares, Johnson technically has good reason to think selfishly in that regard. But he was joking about it, laughing when the topic was raised.

The decision to move the Nets' game-day home shootarounds to New Jersey is just another example of how P.J. Carlesimo has switched things up after taking over for Avery Johnson on Dec. 27.

Since moving to Brooklyn, the Nets had conducted all their shootarounds at Barclays Center, using their $1-billion home arena in the mornings to work on their shooting and game plan for that night. But interim coach Carlesimo left the ball in the players' court, giving them the chance to bring about their own change if that's what they desired. So for now , the plan is to hold shootarounds at the Nets' training facility in New Jersey throughout the week and possibly hold them at the arena if they need to before one of their weekend games.

"We just kind of talked about it," Johnson said, "and since you really only have two or three guys that live in the city and everybody else lives here in Jersey, this is kind of what they wanted."

Less time grinding it out in traffic? More sleep? Who wouldn't sign up for that?

Gerald Wallace sure did. His smile seemed as wide as the 18 miles it takes to travel from their practice home to the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in Brooklyn. Pressing the snooze button actually might be an option now for Wallace, something he surely couldn't do if he had to head to Brooklyn in the midst of morning rush hour.

"Of course," Wallace said. "I don't have to get up so early."

Then there's that thing of having more baskets for the players to shoot at, which Carlesimo prefers. At the arena, they'd just use the main court most of the time because their practice court inside the arena is small and has only two hoops. Over on the Jersey side of the Hudson, they have more room to stretch their legs at their facility.

"They had a lot of input into it and guys are going to be divided," Carlesimo said. "I'm sure a couple of the New York guys would rather be in Brooklyn. You can make a case for that too . . . But I like coming here because I like the setting better for getting things done.

"You also don't have the other team on your back. If the other team is coming in, you have to be off at a certain time. In here, we do whatever we want. So it's just an easier setup for us."

But it means Johnson has to rise around dawn to make it there in time.

"For a 9:45 shootaround," he said, " I have to leave the house about 8, 8:15."

So he has to be in bed really early the night before, right?

"Yeah," Johnson said with a smirk. "Definitely."

Wallace won't alter his game

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The words had barely left my tongue before Gerald Wallace responded. He wasn't having any of it. "I'm not adjusting," he said, flashing a grin.

P.J. Carlesimo also knows there's no way Wallace is changing his game.

"That's he way he plays," he said. "If he doesn't play like that, it's not Gerald Wallace."

Wallace's all-out style has led to a variety of injuries that have forced him to miss 10 games this season. The latest was a two-game absence stemming from bruised ribs he suffered as he got fouled while going up for a dunk Jan. 11 against Phoenix.

He usually defends one of the opponent's top scorers, so he sets the tone on that side of the ball and also provides some athleticism for the Nets. Wallace, 30, does understand that he can't do that if he keeps taking these hard spills.

"I want to be out there," he said. "The guys know how much I want to be out there and it kills me to be on the sideline.

"My main thing is trying to stay healthy for the whole season. This season has kind of been banged up for me and I've had some bumps and bruises. So I'm trying to get myself to where I can be completely 100 percent."

Bogans enjoying solid season

Keith Bogans is quietly putting together a solid season and is one of the Nets' unsung heroes, returning nicely after missing most of last season when he suffered a complete tear of the deltoid ligament and a fractured left ankle.

It's not so much the numbers: In the 36 games he's played, including 16 starts, the nine-year veteran is averaging 3.8 points. It's more about the intangibles, such as his defense and his timely hoops.

"My role is defender first, and on the offensive end, I'm more of a guy who spaces the floor," Bogans said. "I try to be the energy guy, especially defensively, when I come in the game."

Bogans has nailed 34 percent of his three-pointers and had two big ones in the Nets' win over the Hawks on Friday night.

"It's hard to double-team Brook [Lopez], Deron [Williams] and Joe [Johnson] if I'm making shots," he said. "You definitely can't help off of me. That's what I try to make sure of."

heroes, returning nicely after missing most of last season when he suffered a complete tear of the deltoid ligament and a fractured left ankle.

It's not so much the numbers: In the 36 games he's played, including 16 starts, the nine-year veteran is averaging 3.8 points. It's more about the intangibles, such as his defense and his timely hoops.

"My role is defender first, and on the offensive end, I'm more of a guy who spaces the floor," Bogans said. "I try to be the energy guy, especially defensively, when I come in the game."

Bogans has nailed 34 percent of his three-pointers and had two big ones in the Nets' win over the Hawks on Friday night.

"It's hard to double-team Brook [Lopez], Deron [Williams] and Joe [Johnson] if I'm making shots," he said. "You definitely can't help off of me. That's what I try to make sure of."

You also may be interested in: