Alize Johnson, who signed 10-day contract with Nets, shines with 23 points, 15 rebounds vs. Utah

Alize Johnson vs. Jazz

Alize Johnson vs. Jazz

The Nets were without James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Blake Griffin on Wednesday night against the Jazz in Utah, which led to Steve Nash giving many players on the lower end of the depth chart an extended run.

And while Nash said the team won’t take much away from the 118-88 loss to the Jazz, he did praise the play of Alize Johnson, who made the most of his debut with 23 points and 15 rebounds.

“He was great,” Nash said. “Stuffed the stat sheet, played good defense, tons of energy. I don’t think he’s really played since the G League bubble, so a heck of an effort from him, and I’m proud of the way he played.”

The 24-year-old Johnson, who most recently played with Raptors 905 in the G League bubble and had played just 31 career NBA games with the Indiana Pacers before this season, was signed to a 10-day contract on Monday and did not even meet his teammates or coaches until Wednesday morning.

“I got here last night and they got me in here early before the game and started to go over a couple of things, and they did a really good job with that,” Johnson said. “It was pretty simple, and I know, kind of, the stuff that they’re running just from being in the league for a couple of years. I just kind of showed that I have a feel for the game. I just applaud those guys for getting me ready for the game.

“It’s crazy. I was sitting at home probably for a week after the bubble, and I got the phone call from my agent and he told me that I was going to be a Brooklyn Net. I was excited just knowing the great group of guys they’ve got here with the Nets. … Just truly a blessing, and I can’t be happier.”

And with such a limited time to get to learn the Nets’ offense, Johnson relied almost entirely on his basketball instincts and athleticism to score his 23 points.

“We didn’t run anything for him,” Nash explained. “He just played hard, rebounded the ball really well, got in the cracks, cut, screened, rolled, played, ran the floor. He made a lot of little floaters around the basket. Just activity and energy, so great effort for a guy who joined us this morning.”

It’s hard to say what Johnson’s future is with the Nets, especially once players like Griffin and Durant are back in the frontcourt.

But Johnson certainly made a strong first impression.

“I just went out there and left it all out there,” he said.

“I put in a lot of hard work and I’ll continue to just keep working and try to be the best player I can be.”

Source: Alize Johnson, who signed 10-day contract with Nets, shines with 23 points, 15 rebounds vs. Utah

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