Avery: Nets Top 3 or 4 in East

Avery Johnson - Brooklyn Basketball

Telling WFAN, "Now it's our time," Avery Johnson says that "on paper, we're one of top three or four teams in Eastern Conference. Thats a big big jump for us. We feel we've catapulted ourselves ... We're at least in the conversation, we have not been in the conversation the last few years."

Johnson also repeatedly praised Brook Lopez while declining to discuss the possibility of Dwight Howard on the Nets. "We think Brook is of the top three to five centers in the NBA, noting, "We get calls about Brook all the time." Johnson said that the center's injury permitted him to work on his strength and conditioning and "he got a lot stronger in the off season. I had a chance to say hello to him just before July 1. He's in good spirits."

Johnson said the big advantage Joe Johnson brings to the Nets is on defense, with he and Deron Williams adding size to the back court. It also helped with Williams free agency. "The trade for Joe Johnson solidified our vision. showed what Prokhorov can do, which is to spend money."

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