Don’t think Avery Johnson was thrilled to get a look at Reggie Evans’ mug Friday morning?
“He was a sight for sore eyes,” Johnson said following the team’s shootaround at the Barclays Center as they prepared for their matchup with the Warriors. “He came and gave me a hug and Reggie’s hugs are pretty intense. “So I was happy to see him, but that hug, it kind of took the breath out of me. But it’s good to have Reggie back.
“He does so much for our team defensively,” Johnson continued. “Always in the right spots, physical. He straightens up a lot of guys for us and he’s a great team defender. When guys on our team are not in the right spot, he has ways if getting them in the right spot. So it’s no coincidence that Oklahoma scored as many points as they did on us without Reggie.”
Evans said he was weak when he woke up Tuesday morning and didn’t have very much strength. He took some antibiotics, thinking they’d help him get enough energy so he could play. His wife, though, had other ideas and called the doctor, who “wanted me to chill.”
He grew antsier with each passing moment, however.
“You had my son bugging me, messing with me every two minutes,” Evans said. “I was trying to watch the game in peace. Couldn’t even watch the game in peace. So, I kind of watched it again the next day. It was frustrating, though. It was frustrating as you see the clock. It’s 4 o’clock, then 5 o’clock. I wanted to just say, ‘I’m gone.’ But my wife wanted to stay on top of me, and get the doctor permissions and stuff like that.
“I was already like, ‘Forget it, “I have enough strength. Coach I can tough it out for 20, 25 minutes or whatever.’ But they wanted me to chill to kind of get over this. It was tough as the clock wore on. Before you knew it, it was 7, 7:30. I’m like, ‘Too late.’ ”
Evans’ teammates are certainly pleased to have their enforcer in the mix again.
“It helps out a lot,” Joe Johnson said. “It gives us that grittiness, that toughness that we missed last game. So I’m glad to have him back and he can get down there and help out guys like Blatche and Hump.”
The Nets are looking to snap their two-game losing skid and are facing a Warriors team that’s already handed then a humbling loss. Golden State throttled the Nets in the second half of their 102-93 win the day before Thanksgiving, leaving a sour taste in their mouths as they munched on turkey the next day.
So Joe Johnson didn’t dispute that the Nets owe Golden State one.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” he said. “We understand that we are at home now, and we have try come out and protect our home court. That’s the main thing.”
Avery Johnson said he discussed the Nets’ performance in Oakland last month with his players.
“That’s a part of the evaluation,” he said. “We talk about everything. I know for us, we’ve got to get back on track, and we’ve got to do it by playing defense. We scored enough points last game [against the Thunder] to win. Any time you score 111 points, we feel we definitely should win. But our defense had a low rating. So, we’ve got to figure out when we don’t have a guy like Brook and Reggie, we have to figure out how to play better defense.
“It’s a team defensive game. We know they made some tough shots. This team can make tough shots. But from a team defensive standpoint, we think we have a couple of things straightened out this morning. Hopefully, it will carry over to tonight’s game.”