What if Deron Williams and Joe Johnson Had At Least Played Average?

Joe Johnson,  Deron Williams

With all the attention on LeBron James’ dominant 49-point performance in Game 4 that led the Miami Heat to a 102-96 victory, it’s easy to lose sight of everything else. But one thing caught our eye: Joe Johnson and Deron Williams’s offensive output not only didn’t rise to some playoff-worthy output, it didn’t even rise to their own averages during the year.

Williams finished the night just 5-14 from the field and 1-3 from three-point range, hitting both of his free throws for 13 points. Johnson finished the night 5-15 from the field and 2-7 from three-point range, hitting all six of his free throws for 18 points.

Let’s keep it simple: given their shot selection, if Williams and Johnson had merely played at their average level in terms of field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and free throw percentage, Williams and Johnson together would have scored between 7-8 more points total. The Nets lost by six.

Shots are difficult to come across in the playoffs, especially against arguably the league’s best team. Johnson also said that James’s flop on Johnson’s last shot of the game threw his balance off. In any one game, anything can happen. But if “Brooklyn’s Backcourt” underperforms again with the season on the line, the year could end tonight.

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