Clutchest player in the NBA: Who you got? Kobe Bryant? Kevin Durant? Chris Paul? Carmelo Anthony? LeBron James? How about Joe Johnson? While I do not believe Johnson is THE clutchest player in the Association, I would still put him in top five, maybe top three. Here is a small sample size of Joe Johnson’s clutch resume:
Johnson’s clutchness hasn’t changed over the years. In his first season with the Brooklyn Nets, the six-time All-Star hit numerous clutch shots to help lead Brooklyn to a playoff appearance. His “clutch gene” was in full display in Game 4 against the Chicago Bulls when he and Nate Robinson took turns hitting buzzer beaters as the Bulls eventually won that game and the series. There is no denying his late-game ability, but the question I pose is: Is Johnson still a productive shooting guard in the NBA?
The numbers say no. Over the last four years, the majority of Johnson’s numbers have gone south. Take a look:
The alarming statistic to me is his 42.3 percent field-goal shooting. His average has dropped a good three points over the course of four years. Not only has he become less efficient, but the former Arkansas Razorback has also had a dip is assists per game. Is Johnson just getting old? Or was he getting used to playing on a new team with new players? Let’s take a look at his sabermetric numbers:
The sabermetrics don’t favor Johnson either. His player efficiency rating is now below the league average of 15. His rebounding and assist percentages have gone down over the last four years. If I was a Nets fan, I would be worried.