Jason Kidd declares Joe Johnson as the team’s closer

  • Jason Whitney

Joe Johnson will be called upon for the last shot

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd has made it clear who is taking the final shot for his team this year, and it may not be who you would expect.

After bringing in future Hall of Fame players Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to go along with Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, you may think coach Kidd would go with the hot hand in tight games.

That won’t be the case according to Kidd, as he declared Joe Johnson as his closer. His answer will be pleasing to the stat nerds out there, but someone like Charles Barkley would object. The answer is analytics, as Johnson hit an amazing 9 out of 10 shots last season with 24 seconds or less.

Via New York Daily News:

But Jason Kidd said Tuesday that Joe Johnson – the offseason afterthought on this stacked roster – will get the first call on the final possessions.

“If you’re into analytics, you look at Joe Johnson as the clear-cut guy taking the last-second shot,” Kidd said. “He was 9-for-10 with 24 seconds or less. So that would be your guy who is the closer.”

I wonder how Paul Pierce and Deron Williams will feel about this if they are having a monster game. Pierce has proven many times in the past that he is a clutch performer, and it would seem like a hard pill to swallow for him to take a back seat to Joe Johnson if he is having a good game. However, Kidd did open up his statements for interpretation, as he said that just because the play is drawn up for someone, doesn’t mean they will get the final shot.

“But the game of basketball is such that you draw up a play for one player, most of the time it doesn’t end up with that one guy taking the shot. He creates a problem, which results to one of teammates getting a wide-open look. Make-or-miss, it’s the right basketball play,” Kidd said. “For us, it’s about making the right basketball play at the end. But if you’re looking at stats, which a lot of you people do, Joe Johnson’s name comes first. … He’s a guy who delivers. He loves that stage at the end of having the ball and making the right play.”

Could drama ensue if Joe Johnson starts bricking shots in the waning moments of games? With the NBA season right around the corner, we will shortly see how this situation unfolds.

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