The New Jersey Nets are playing so well, they can hit a big shot even when there’s no game.
The latest hero is backup guard Anthony Johnson, who gave his teammates the day off by banking in a shot from half court Friday at the Nets’ practice gym.
“I didn’t call it, but I’ll take it. It’s cool to have a day off,” Johnson said. “I was hot [Thursday night]. I had a feeling I would knock it down.”
Coach Byron Scott said if any player made the shot, practice would be canceled. There were only three players left in line when Johnson hit pay dirt, and he led the team off the court with arms raised in celebration -- although all of the players returned to do some shooting.
“Today is not a grind-out day,” Scott said Friday. “Today you want to be relaxed. You just want to have some fun. I just try to break up the monotony. Things are going good now.”
Good indeed. The Nets have won nine consecutive playoff games. It’s the fourth-longest single-season playoff streak in NBA history, tied with the 1996 Bulls and 1982 Lakers. The record is 12 by the 1999 Spurs.
The Nets will try to complete a sweep of the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals tonight.
The Pistons are faced with trying to become the first team in NBA history to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.