Sunday, November 11, 2012
Joe Johnson can't find his shot
By Mike Mazzeo
Avery Johnson expects that every shot Joe Johnson takes will go into the basket.
But through the first five games of the season, only 36.2 percent of them have.
Still, Joe Johnson remains confident in his abilities -- and expects that his shots will eventually start to fall.
Joe Johnson is shooting 36.2 percent from the field.
"Definitely. It will come together soon," the 31-year-old shooting guard said after going 3-for-13 from the field in the Brooklyn Nets' 82-74 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday afternoon. "Sooner or later, it's going to come.
"Obviously I haven't been shooting a high percentage, but I'm still feeling my way around and trying to get acclimated to the players around me."
Johnson wasn't the only Net to struggle on Sunday afternoon. He was one of many.
Overall, the Nets (3-2) shot 37.2 percent and scored just 47 points over the final three quarters. And if they were playing any other team in the NBA, they would've blown their entire 20-point lead. Luckily, the Dwight Howard-less Magic were in town to bail them out.
But when you're making $19.75 million, as Johnson is, you're expected to produce -- and he hasn't.
So when exactly is he going to break out? His coach doesn't really care.
"Break out for what? As long as we win (it doesn’t matter)," Avery Johnson said. "There’s a possibility Joe could average 22 points a game for us this year, or he could average 16. If you remember what I said during training camp, I want Joe to be efficient. Now was this his most efficient game? No. We'll talk about it over dinner tonight, but he'll get there."
Avery Johnson has high hopes for Joe Johnson, but wants him to play more below the free throw line than he has in the past. The coach loves having the veteran guard post up on the block, where he can use his big body to either shoot over smaller guards or pass out to the open man on the perimeter.
It just hasn't all come together yet.
"We just haven't really gotten into a rhythm," point guard Deron Williams said. "I don't think I've gotten into a rhythm. Joe, I know he hasn't gotten into a rhythm. It's just tough trying to find our spots and find how to disperse the scoring load."
But even though Brooklyn's backcourt isn’t performing the way it should be, the Nets are 3-2.
"We'll definitely take the wins, but we're not happy about how we finished the game ... and blowing a 20-point lead again. That's a little concerning and alarming," D-Will said.
"We're still a work in progress. We've only been playing a month, but our defense is better, and that's promising."
If Joe Johnson can find his shot, that would only add to the promise.