Johnson: Payton's suspension 'excessive'

Avery Johnson said he was “shocked” when he first heard that close friend and Saints coach Sean Payton had been suspended for the season by the NFL for his team’s bounty scandal.

“Based on what I know about the whole deal, I thought there would be some sort of suspension, maybe one game, or two, maybe three at the most, but a whole season?” the Nets coach said.

“Boy, that’s really excessive.”

“I love watching Sean work on the sidelines, he’s a terrific coach and I just feel badly for the fans, for him and for his family.”

Johnson, a New Orleans native, gave an inspiration speech back to Payton’s Saints back in 2006. That season, the Saints went from one of the league’s worst teams to one of the best, advancing all the way to the NFC title game.

MarShon Brooks is shooting 15-for-49 in his last fives games, averaging 8.2 points.

“I’m just missing shots, easy shots that I normally make for whatever reason,” the rookie shooting guard said. “I wouldn’t say the season’s taken a toll on me, I’ve just got to get back to the basics, make a couple shots and just keep believing in myself.”

Is the 66-game season starting to take a toll on him?

“Yeah, but I just don’t to make excuses,” Brooks. “Just try to get us back on track and finish strong.”

• Backup point guard Jordan Farmar (sore right groin) is officially out Wednesday, and will miss his fourth straight game.

• Center Brook Lopez (sprained right ankle) was seen in the locker room before the game wearing a walking boot. He wasn’t allowed to comment on his status, though, and an official update from the team will come on Friday. The 23-year-old center has played just five games this season.

Nene will make his debut with the Wizards on Wednesday night. Remember, the Nets coveted the Brazilian big man in free agency. Instead, Nene opted to re-sign with Denver. Look at where that got him. At least, he got paid ...