Say what you want about his contract, or the fact that he’s not the superstar you want him to be, but Joe Johnson is as close to clutch as you get in the NBA.
Joe Johnson told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News about why he’s been so successful at hitting the big shot as time winds down at critical points in the game.
Johnson explained to Bondy how being clutch works.
“Maybe because I’m a pretty good one-on-one player, or maybe because I’m bigger than 95% of the guys who guard me,” Johnson, who is 6-7, says in a recent sit-down with the Daily News. “All that probably plays a factor into it. I didn’t even realize in late-game situations until about the fourth year in the league that guys are not helping with five seconds on the clock. They don’t double you.
“That’s probably been the biggest thing in those situations. When I get the ball, I’m looking strictly to score. I’m never looking to pass, honestly, unless a defender is coming to where there’s two defenders on me, then I’ll pass. But I’m looking to get a bucket. . . . Four or five seconds is an eternity in basketball.”
Johnson says he didn’t start hitting game winners until he got to the NBA.
How clutch has Johnson been this season?
when the score is within three points in the final 10 seconds of regulation or overtime, Johnson has hit all six of his shots. With 30 seconds or less under those circumstances, Johnson has made 12 of his 16 attempts, including four game-winners at the buzzer for the Nets.