Joe Johnson is, in principle, now Brooklyn bound. Once the free agency moratorium lifts July 11, he’ll be sent to the Nets, who are trying to turn into a get-rich-quick Eastern Conference conteder in the mold of Boston and Miami. But while his future team is trying to win right now, his now-former team in Atlanta is shedding salary, none bigger than Johnson’s six-year, $119 million deal from 2010. While it would be hard for anyone to live up to that kind of contract, especially in Atlanta, did you know Johnson sunk 10 game-tying or game-winning shots in the final 15 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime in his ATL career? Here’s a sampling of his best.
In fact, Johnson ripped off three clutch shots in the final 15 seconds of a game this season, including two in four days on March 21 and 25 against the Cavaliers and Jazz. (That’s the most in a single season since 2006.) The Johnson Administration has ended in Atlanta, but here are his top 5 buzzer-beaters and late-game clutch shots.
5. To put the Hawaks up 103-96 with 38.4 left
It’s possible JJ heard Atlanta’s TV team imploring him to look at the “SHOT CLOCK! SHOT CLOCK!” in the final 37 seconds of this year’s game in April. He turned, fired from about 27 feet, and hit an insurance bucket off the bank against the Clippers.
4. To tie the Pistons with 1.9 left
Back on Jan. 27, Johnson was in the middle of a stretch where he was playing like a bad man. He fired in this three from 27 feet to tie the game at 87-all with 1.9 seconds left against Detroit.
3. To beat the Timberwolves with 0.9 left
This shot against Minnesota was still fairly early — just two years — in his tenure in Atlanta, from 2007. If Johnson hadn’t endeared himself already to the Hawks by hitting four previous buzzer-beaters, this tough, fall-away jumper from the wing to take a 90-89 lead would have done the trick.
2. To beat the Bobcats with 0.9 left
Back in 2010, Johnson hit an awkward shot from the left wing to sink the Bobcats only days after Michael Jordan became owner of the franchise. Was it a sign of things to come? Yes, for both Johnson (he’s hit three more buzzer-beaters to tie or win since). He gets bonus points for stopping on a dime on Raymond Felton, draining the jumper over two defenders and creating a mini-court storming with this shot.
1. To tie the Cavaliers with 0.0 left/win in OT
Johnson not only tied the Cavs at the buzzer last March in regulation, he beat them in overtime with a jumper. It’s No. 1 by default for knocking down a buzzer-beater to tie it at 91-91 and an eventual game-winner in the same game (even if the second wasn’t at the horn).
Is Johnson a good pickup for Brooklyn?
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