Joe Johnson, Good At Basketball After All

Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson: 79 G, 79 GS, 32.6 MPG, 15.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 0.59 SPG, 0.13 BPG, .454 FG% .401 3P%, .815 FT%, 15.54 PER, 6.5 EWA

grade-aSeven-time All-Star Joe Johnson was the team’s lone representative at the 2014 All-Star Game, their leading scorer in the regular season and the playoffs, and their go-to option in crunch time, and the winner of The Brooklyn Game 2014 Nets MVP Award:

“He might not be there when you call on him, but he’s there when you need him.”

That was Kevin Garnett on his moniker “Joe Jesus” for teammate Joe Johnson, who we’ve named the 2013-14 Nets Most Valuable Player.

The Brooklyn Game polled staff, contributors and our partners at YES Network to vote for the Nets’ most valuable player, with Joe Johnson earning 17 of a possible 20 first-place votes. (Full tally below.)

Johnson was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 15.8 points on 45.4 percent shooting from the field and a team-high 40.1 percent shooting from three-point range. His effective field goal percentage of .533 was the highest among regular starters, and he led the team with 3.9 offensive win shares. He was the team’s lone representative at the NBA All-Star Game.

Throughout the season, Johnson was the team’s most consistent player and scorer, leading the team in games (79), games started (79), minutes played (2,575), points (1,245), and double-digit scoring nights (62). With Johnson in the game, the Nets were +1.1 per 100 possessions, with him out, they were outscored by 3.7 points per 100, fourth-best on the roster.

He played with a quiet confidence, never losing his cool regardless of tension or circumstance. Though he was known ignominiously as “Iso-Joe,” Johnson scored in a variety of ways all season: as “Sniper Joe” the spot-up shooter, “Joe Curl” curling around screens, on the low block in the “Joe Post,” just for example.

“He can do it in every single way,” Shaun Livingston said of Johnson in April. “There’s not many guys in this league that can do it like that. Inside-out, off the dribble, catch-and-shoot, space the floor, he provides this team with so many different weapons in his arsenal.”

The team’s crunch-time first option for most of the year, Johnson hit two buzzer-beating game-winning shots in the regular season: one against the Phoenix Suns, and another against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which kicked off their 34-17 run in 2014.

Johnson didn’t do much but score, but man, did he score, and didn’t falter throughout the season or in any situation. His shots in isolation declined sharply as Kidd’s offense pushed him more towards his post-up and spot-up game. He came off more screens, on and off the ball, and scored better in those situations. He ranked in the top 30 in the NBA in scoring as a pick-and-roll ballhandler, a post-up player, a spot-up shooter, curling off screens, and receiving hand-offs, per Synergy Sports.

But given his history with the Atlanta Hawks, being the MVP of a 44-38 team that gets bounced in the second round is a pretty Joe Johnson thing to do.

Reading of the year: The Anatomy of a Clutch Shot: Joe Johnson, the machine