Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson hasn’t been his usual self through five playoff games, averaging just 15.0 points per 36 minutes (his lowest ever as a playoff starter) and hasn’t led the team in scoring once despite ranking second on the team in minutes. He’s shot more than ten times as many midrange two-point shots (45) as shots near the rim (4).
Johnson says he’s been severely limited by his plantar fasciitis, an injury he incurred in February and never fully healed.
“It’s like i’m out there on one leg, honestly,” Johnson said to reporters after Nets practice Wednesday. “I can’t push the basketball if I get a rebound. I can’t really run pick-and-rolls. I’m basically just a decoy spot-up shooter, I can’t really do a whole lot. I told Deron (Williams) and Brook (Lopez), ‘I’ll be the bailout guy: you get in a sticky situation, just try to find me.’
Johnson also said that the only reason he’s playing is because it’s the playoffs, and that he probably wouldn’t play if this was the regular season.
“When it first came about in February, we tried to rest it as much as possible, but obviously there wasn’t enough time. So I’m just giving everything I got at this point.”
Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo said that playing minutes won’t affect Johnson any further. “It’s injured. He’s done the damage.”