UPDATE: Friday, March 1, at 11:20 a.m. ET by Alex Kay
Johnson has missed the last three contests as he dealt with a foot injury, but seems to be ready to test it out on Friday evening at home against the Mavs.
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UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 24, at 11:05 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Joe Johnson (foot) will miss tonight's game, the Brooklyn Nets announced on Twitter.
Joe Johnson (sore left heel) and Jerry Stackhouse (rest) are out for tonight's game vs Memphis.— Nets PR Dept. (@Nets_PR) February 24, 2013
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Johnson played 82 minutes in back-to-back victories over the Milwaukee Bucks coming out of the All-Star break. He nailed a couple key jumpers in the first game, but struggled to find his shot in the rematch. Perhaps this injury helps explain why.
The Nets currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, comfortably inside the playoff picture. So there's no reason for the team to overextend Johnson right now and risk further injury. Playing it safe is they way to go.
Friday night's game will be the first one Johnson has missed all season. In 55 contests, the veteran is averaging 17 points per game—second on the team behind Brook Lopez—to go along with four assists and three rebounds per game.
His arrival from the Atlanta Hawks gave the Nets the third big name they were looking for to team, along with Lopez and Deron Williams. It's resulted in Brooklyn becoming a secondary contender in the East behind the Miami Heat, who are in a class of their own right now.
Since the Nets aren't being forced to battle for a playoff spot, they can afford to give Johnson some time off to make sure he's healthy for the stretch run and, more importantly, the postseason.
The day-to-day tag means he'll get evaluated frequently. But don't be surprised if Brooklyn takes an ultra conservative route with him to make sure he's back to full strength, or somewhere close, before he's playing his usual 38 minutes per night again.
MarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans will likely be asked to pick up the slack while Johnson is sidelined.