Come on down, Alize Johnson!
It’s your turn to star on the beloved game of “Name the next unheralded Nets player who comes up big.” Just like previous contestant Nic Claxton.
After playing a total of less than five minutes in the previous five games, including three in which he never got off the bench, Johnson provided an invaluable lift Monday against the Knicks. Quite simply, even with Kyrie Irving’s 40-point outburst, the Nets would not have won without Johnson’s 12 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes — and a hunger that veteran teammates find infectious.
“From the moment that he got here, that’s how he’s been,” guard Joe Harris said. “Even in his practice sessions, he doesn’t back down from anybody, is ultra-aggressive on both ends of the court. I’m glad that he got an opportunity.”
Nets coach Steve Nash indicated that Johnson would have played more minutes if not for James Harden’s hamstring strain forcing Chris Chiozza into a more prominent ball-handling role.