With The Game On The Line: Jarrett Jack Or Joe Johnson?


Joe Johnson or as Kevin Garnett calls him ‘Joe Jesus’ has been one of the most clutch players in all of the NBA over the past few seasons and whenever the Nets need a bucket down the stretch, the ball is in Johnson’s hands and he goes to work one-on-one and buries a big shot. Coming into the season, Johnson was 6-of-6 in the final 10 seconds of regulation or overtime when his team is tied or behind by three points or less.

In the final 30 seconds of regulation or overtime in similar situations, Johnson was 12-of-14. Those numbers are flat out ridiculous and so far this season, Johnson hasn’t been able to live up to those remarkable stats in clutch situations. Johnson is 0-for-4 with 10 seconds or less in a 3-point game this season but he has hit some big time shots including a three from borough hall to cut the Clippers lead to two on Monday.

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On Friday when the Nets took on the Raptors, the game was tied with 1.9 seconds left and Bojan Bogdanovic found a wide open Brook Lopez for an open mid-range shot with a chance to win the game. Lopez missed and Brooklyn lost the game in overtime. In the Nets next game on Monday against the Clippers, they found themselves in a similar situation with the game tied and their ball with 11 seconds left. This time, Lionel Hollins had Jarrett Jack run pick and roll with Brook Lopez and DeAndre Jordan was switched onto Jack and Jack capitalized on the mismatch.

Jack was having a rough game coming off of a career night against the Raptors, but Jack made the shot when it counted to give the Nets their first home win in 2015. It isn’t the first time that Jack has come up big this season for Brooklyn down the stretch, the Nets were on the verge of losing to the Celtics on the road before Jack erupted in the second half and he even hit the go ahead jumper to put Brooklyn in front for good with 27.5 seconds left.

Jack has had his moments this season, but let’s not discount what Johnson has done for Brooklyn in the past. Johnson has been Brooklyn’s closer for the past two seasons and he has proven to be a reliable guy to go to down the stretch of close games. Johnson has all of the traits to be a successful closer, he’s calm, he’s composed and he’s lethal. I could post so many clips of Johnson hitting a big shot for the Nets but I’ll post this one of him hitting a buzzer beater over one of the NBA’s best shot blockers Serge Ibaka.

Johnson has also come up big down the stretch for the Nets in the postseason. Brooklyn collapsed in game 4 against the Bulls, but Johnson’s heroics kept Brooklyn alive and gave them a fighters chance of winning the game. The Nets lost the game, but Johnson made sure that they went down swinging.

Most teams have problems finding one player who can hit a big shot down the stretch consistently, but Brooklyn is lucky enough to have two players that aren’t afraid to take and make a clutch shot. Both guys have the initials JJ and both have the clutch gene.

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