Joe Johnson has crunch time advice for Brook Lopez: “don’t pass”

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson (AP)
With the game on the line this season, the Brooklyn Nets’ offense has been relatively predictable: give the ball to guard Joe Johnson and get the hell out of his way. While that’s usually a poor strategy long-term, so far this season it’s paid off: Johnson is 9-10 from the field with under 30 seconds left and the game’s score within one possession.

Against the Chicago Bulls Thursday night, however, Johnson didn’t touch the ball in the final minute, with Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo instead opting to run the offense through Brook Lopez in the post and Deron Williams at the top of the key. This choice didn’t faze Johnson, but it didn’t work too well with Lopez — who committed a crucial turnover and missed two shots in that final minute.

Johnson, a veteran to crunch time play, had some advice for the 25-year-old Lopez.

“If you get in the situation again, be aggressive, man,” Johnson said of Lopez. “Don’t shy away from it. … He should’ve went to his go-to. Maybe his jump hook.”

Lopez threw away a turnover passing out of the post on the game’s third-to-last possession. Johnson said that Lopez may have thought the Bulls were coming to double him and his instinct told him to find an open man, but Lopez needs to read the play better in those situations.

“Don’t look to pass in those situations,” Johnson stressed. “They hadn’t been doubling the whole game, they just stunted, acted like they were coming. If we get in that same position again and we go to him, just be strong and go with it. … They faked as though they were coming (to double), and he may have picked up his dribble and got stuck in a bad position.”