The Nets were badly torched by Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem in Friday’s 113-106 loss to Miami, but of greater long term concern is the condition of New Jersey’s Richard Jefferson. From the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Allessandro.

The kid seems down, which is understandable. Coming out of it a little bit, perhaps, but when you™re looking at an unscheduled vacation just because some klutz with size-22s slips under you on a jumper, you tend to get a little despondent over the whole thing.

But here™s the thing: He™s just as confident in his healing ability as he is in his playing ability.

œOh, yeah, Jefferson said today, perking up a bit. œI™ve been a quick healer most of my life, my entire career. It happens, you know. You step on a big foot. There™s nothing you can do about it. Whether you have ankle problems or not, that one is pretty much a wrap. I played in 500 games since I™ve been in the NBA, rolled my ankle twice. I never missed a game because of a sprained ankle. It™s not like anything crazy. So I™m fine.

Right. But they call it a Grade 2 sprain for a reason, and it™s still ligament damage we™re talking about.

They fitted him for a boot, but he doesn™t know how long he™s going to wear it. He had a boot after Game 1 in Miami last year, too “ along with crutches — and you know how that turned out. By Game 2, he was back in the lineup. By Game 5, he was scoring 33 points. In short, he™s a freak.

œThe last one in Miami there was no swelling. This one, there™s a little bit, he said by comparison. œIt™s not as painful as it is in Miami.

Nor is the timing.

The New York Post’s Peter Vescey has read enough of MSG-inspired claims that trading for Stevie Franchise was all Larry Brown’s idea.

Like we’re really supposed to accept the debauched idea Brown couldn’t wait to coach a guy who forced the Grizzlies to trade him after being drafted No. 2 overall. A guy who only responds well when demands aren’t made on him. That was Rudy Tomjanovich’s technique for coaching Francis, a guy Jeff Van Gundy and Brian Hill found moderately uncoachable, (as you recall, among other endearing deeds, Francis jumped a Rockets’ charter to attend the Super Bowl and refused to re-enter a Magic game). Van Gundy and Hill were reluctant to work with a guy whose notable career stats (19.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists) are rendered rather meaningless when you see how inefficient his outside shooting is and how ineffective he is as an over-dribbling playmaker.

Why would Brown crave Francis when he was getting along famously with Jamal Crawford? Any day now, expect Thomas to blame Brown for drafting Renaldo Balkman at No. 21 vs. Marcus Williams, a spin, I suspect not even the Knicks beat writers are gullible enough to embrace.

After eyeballing the Heat win in Jersey, column collaborator Dino Di Pietro thought Williams (10 points, four assists, three turnovers, 21 minutes) played pretty well despite going 0-5 from three.

“I’m convinced Isiah must’ve been trying to reach Anucha on his cell phone when it was the Knicks’ turn to draft last June. He definitely wasn’t paying attention.”

Always ready to defend Thomas, I advised Di Pietro, had the Knicks taken Williams it would’ve exposed Marbury as the league’s most pointless guard every day in practice.