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Joe Johnson needs to be freed from Raptors' grasp

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Rod Boone described what Joe Johnson was up against Sunday night in Brooklyn.  Describing the Toronto defense on Johnson, Boone wrote...

The Raptors sped toward him like train-bound commuters at Penn Station after a boarding announcement. The result: seven points, the fewest he has scored since March 1. Seven shots, the fewest he's hoisted since Jan. 24.

Now, the Nets need to adjust. Johnson knows. They can't let it happen again. "I mean, I looked out and there were three guys coming at me once. But I just tried to make the right play, man. It forced other guys to make plays, and down the stretch, we just couldn't come up with the big play."

His coach said the burden must be shared, but also singled out Deron Williams for inconsistency and a lack of aggressiveness.

"It is not so much a problem. For Deron, his energy, having high energy and playing with that energy for 48 minutes on the floor, the rest of the guys follow him," said Kidd, adding, "For him, it is about playing with that same energy and the intent of being aggressive."

There's also the issue of discouragement, having a game --and the prospect of 3-1 series lead-- fade away and faced with going to Toronto 2-2 and having to win two out of three, two of them in Canada. Paul Pierce said the Nets can't let it get them down. Pierce in fact may be critical to the adjustments. Expect him to post up more out of the power forward.