Carlesimo defends Johnson against critics

Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo thinks Joe Johnson’s critics have no idea what they’re talking about.

Responding to a question during a Sunday conference call about how critics think Johnson is too reliant on isolation plays, settles for too many jumpers and isn’t worthy of his max contract, Carlesimo replied, “It’s hard to be polite and answer the question. ‘Critic’ is such an ambiguous term. I would call them uniformed or basketball unintelligent. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. It would be hard for me to think that there was an intelligent basketball person making a statement like that about Joe Johnson.”

Johnson, battling through plantar fasciitis in his left foot, had a pair of eight-foot jumpers in the final 11.8 seconds of the first overtime in Game 4 -- one of them at the buzzer -- to send the contest into a second OT. In the regular season, in games where the Nets were tied or trailing by three points or fewer with less than a minute remaining, Johnson went 9-for-10 from the field. His nine buckets in such situations led the NBA.

“It would be scary to think what this year would’ve been like without Joe Johnson,” Carlesimo said.

Johnson, who had 22 points in 48 minutes in Game 4, is averaging 17.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game during the team’s first-round series against the Chicago Bulls.