On the day when the Nets parted ways with Joe Johnson, his replacement eased Brooklyn's pain.
Making his first start since January 8, Bojan Bogdanovic played 38 minutes and shot 8-for-16 from the field en route to a season-high 24 point performance.
"He was really our leader," Bogdanovic said of Johnson. "Everybody knew we needed more effort. We are trying to play a little bit faster than usual, so we play a lot of secondary offense. After a couple of their bad shots and turnovers, we hit a couple of threes and that gave us confidence."
Right after Johnson was bought out on Thursday, a friend of mine asked me if Bojan would benefit the most from the extra playing time. It surprised me how pessimistic I was when I answered, because I really do like a lot of what Bogdanovic does on the floor. This has just been such a strange season for him that I didn't feel confident even saying he'd get more minutes than Thomas Robinson. Way to prove me wrong, Bojan!
It was such a breath of fresh air to see Bogdanovic get cut loose. He got plenty of reps, had some plays run for him, and really looked like a piece that could be the focal point of an offense. That's what the Nets have envisioned all these years, and maybe the absence of Johnson is just the opportunity Bojan needs to try to reach that level of consistency he's been striving for. On Thursday, it certainly seemed like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Maybe this is the beginning of a break out for the Nets' former Euro stash.