Free Agent Watch: Joe Johnson is struggling

The 2010 NBA playoffs have been a rough time for free-agent-to-be Joe Johnson.

In the first round, his Atlanta Hawks struggled mightily against the Andrew Bogut-less Milwaukee Bucks. And now, in the second round, they’re on the verge of being swept by the Orlando Magic.

And it hasn’t been close.

After Orlando’s Game 3 victory — a 105-75 blowout in Atlanta — the Magic have compiled the second-highest scoring differential through the first three games of an NBA playoff series (+29.0 PPG). During that beating, Johnson scored only 8 points on 3-for-15 shooting.

During the regular season, Johnson averaged 21.3 PPG on 46 percent shooting. During the playoffs, his scoring average has slipped (18.3) while his shooting percentage has plummetted (39 percent).

In his last six playoff games, Joe’s averaging 13.3 points on 31 percent shooting. Against the Magic, he’s averaging just 12.3 points on 29 percent shooting. For somebody who will probably be seeking a max contract in July, this is nothing short of a complete meltdown.

Said Johnson: “Guys look to me for guidance. When I’m playing like that, it’s almost impossible for us to win.”

No kidding.

To make matters worse, ESPN’s John Hollinger noted that Atlanta’s “iso-Joe” offense — which led to some solid offensive efficiency during the regular season — appears doomed to failure in the playoffs.

I’m not saying Johnson isn’t a good player. However, his team — which won 53 games this season and is loaded with talent — has really struggled on the offensive end during the postseason…and much of that has been because Johnson has struggled.

That’s not necessarily a slight on him. The playoffs can be tough. Frankly, I’m more concerned that Joe’s numbers — which are pretty good — aren’t better considering the high number of touches and isolations that get run for him in Atlanta. Sure, Dwyane Wade dominates the ball, but he puts up superduperstar numbers. Johnson dominates the ball and puts up lower tier All-Star numbers.

Just something to think about.

,

31 Responses to Free Agent Watch: Joe Johnson is struggling

  1. H00dchick718@yahoo.?com'
    Evelina May 10, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    Him and dwade are totally different players dwyane can will a team to a win I don’t think Joe can like dwade can

  2. ctw_724@yahoo.com'
    ctw724 May 10, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    I would rather have the two kids from Golden State.

    – Anthony Morrow (RFA)
    – Kelenna Azubuike (trade or UFA in 2011)

  3. seancdennis@hotmail.com'
    blackfujones May 10, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Man I know I cant be the only one who’s became quite leery of iso-joe. Didnt we all say that was a problem with our offense this yr? We do that stupid weave play at the top of the key and it ends up in the hands of deng or kirk, and they stand there like a deer caught in headlights. With iso-joe its almost the same crap john “tim” salmons used to do..dribble dribble but instead of doing the patented salmons spin to the lane its a step back fadeaway 2pointer from 20 ft out. Geez we can get that crap from deng who averages 18 and 7. Im all for inquiring about LBJ and Wade and really going after Bosh and solidifying our bench with solid guys and acquiring a solid 2guard. Easier said than done I know, but I just dont wanna re live another ron mercer/eddie robinson/ben wallace/larry hughes stick up deal.

  4. Anonymous May 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Joe Johnson would have to be a second option on the Bulls,less touches, lower scoring and that would not merit a max contract. I do not see Joe Jackson putting the Bulls over the top. The Bulls would be better off with two solid mid-level FA’s rather than trying for one superstar. The Bulls have two budding stars that could develop into superstars. Taj Gibson has the potential to develop into a near all-star. Deng is a solid to very good starter. Hinrich is a solid to good starter. Deng and Hinrich could be solid 25-30 minute sixth/seventh men with the addition of higher caliber players or continue to be starters with solid support players behind them. The biggest goal for the Bulls should be to continue to develop their defense and expand their rotaton from 8 to 10 players. Rather than a superstar, improved defense and an expanded functional roster is what will make the Bulls contenders.

  5. enigmatik.inviktus@gmail.com'
    Enigmatik May 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    @blackfujones – exactly. i keep saying that joe johnson is going to rob someone this summer and i sincerely hope that it’s not the chicago bulls.

  6. Ryan May 10, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I know what everyone sees with Joe in the Playoffs, but ATL likes to quit when they are down. Teams have been doubling Joe, trying to have Smith or Horford beat them – which Horford showed up in Game 2. Teams would not be able to do this with Rose in the backcourt with him (Bibby is more of a shooter than a driver like Rose). The guy may not seem like he is worth a max contract, but please give me another ‘star’ SG with a skill set better or comparable to Joe’s? I think the Bulls have had enough young talent the last decade… it’s time to get some proven players with experience instead of taking a cheap way out on GS players (they don’t know how to play Defense). We got the money to spend, what are we going to save it for? Maybe a PF if we get lucky, but we will still be in major need of a scoring SG.

  7. njcamporese@yahoo.com'
    Nicky C May 10, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    What I posted last week that only holds more true today:

    If we throw max money at Joe Johnson this summer and his 21ppg…especially after what he has done (read: hasn’t done) during the Orlando series…I might have to douse myself in gasoline and light a match. There’s no way J-Pax can justify signing Johnson long term for a shit-ton of money. There just isn’t. In the words of Han Solo: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”

  8. bodybagsteven@gmail.com'
    bullsfandom May 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    I’d take Korver over Johnson in a heartbeat. All we need from a 2 guard essentially is somebody who can shoot 3’s (Korver is one of the best) and play some defense. If we can’t get either Wade or Lebron to come here, I would focus on getting one of the many big men that will be available and try to get Korver to a decent contract.

  9. steverba May 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Ya’ll be trippin on the wrong kool-aide. Joe Johnson would FLOURISH beside Rose. He wouldn’t have to create all the offense on his own, but rather could stretch the floor with is tremendous shooting ability, and still be able to drive if needed. He’s big and long and plays good defense. JJ + Rose back court would be the perfect compliment for each other.

  10. ctw_724@yahoo.com'
    ctw724 May 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Not only should it be a NO-GO, but a NO-JOE this summer for the Chicago Bulls.

    Go get DWADE and BOSH. If not, wait for MELO in 2011.

  11. Ryan May 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    I think it is obvious that MOST Bulls fans would want Lebron, Wade, Bosh, maybe Boozer/Amare before other FA’s. – Bullsfandom wants Korver over Joe Johnson? I could totally understand that reasoning if we got a max-contract PF (Bosh, Boozer, or Amare). He can shoot a 3-ball with a quick release, but plays terrible Defense, and doesn’t run the floor well. Joe can play both sides of the floor, run the floor (PHX days), and can slash and draw fouls. I can’t totally disagree until the Bulls make a real move, but if it was simply Korver or Johnson – That would be blasphemous to say Korver.

  12. afish07@gmail.com'
    Adam G Fish May 11, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    The Bulls should focus all their energy on signing Chris Bosh. He is the only realistic player worth signing. This is an ideal situation for Chris, he will be on a very competitive basketball team and can still be “the man.” If the Bulls do not sign Bosh then just wait and develop players. No ones besides: LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Amare or Chris Bosh is worth signing. Yes, that includes, Boozer, Dirk, Johnson, ect… None of those players are worth the contract at this point.

  13. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath May 11, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    Ryan: super-agreed.

    I am scared to pay Joe Johnson heart-attack money, but I am more than happy to have him on this team. I don’t watch Atlanta enough to have much of an opinion of them. It does seem that the personality of the team does not make their parts excel. If you look at the averages over his career, they are very consistent (He has also steadily brought his turnovers down over the last three years or so.) Man, if you think of all the -critical- open jumpers we missed this year. JJ would have made some of those play-school time-out plays work. We can talk money, but there is no reason to disparage Mr. Johnson too deeply here. His best can’t even help their team right now, they are over-matched.

  14. dakota May 11, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    ctw724-

    I’d love to see Anthony Morrow in a Bulls uniform next season, he’s been a part of my “future” plans for some time. Maybe get Ray Allen for a couple years to mentor him as well.

  15. rossana-AHA@hotmail.com'
    Bill thomas May 11, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    I wouldn’t sign Joe Johnson in a heart beat b-cuz of his age and he wants a lot of money with a 6 year contract. NO THANKS!!! THE BULLS need to focus on getting a PF player 1st over a SG 1st!!!

    Plus the Bulls can get a cheaper, taller and solid young SG like: Anthony Morrow or Kelenna Azubuike for a good price.

    Remember people the Bulls are really weak inside with their big guys really can’t score and put up big number every night. So that is what I say let get Chris Bosh (which I highly doubt it) or my guy David Lee then we are set people!!!

  16. m_nazabal@yahoo.com'
    Max May 11, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    I am trying to remember those dominant low post players the Bulls had in the 90’s when they were winning all those Championships………Oh wait that’s right there was none. And please if anyone says Horace Grant please check yourself. The Bulls need a wing player that can dominate at the 2 or 3. Stop with the Korver or Morrow and for that matter get off Chris Bosh. That Toronto team has more talent minus D-rose and he didn’t do anything with them. Numbers are great but I care more about wins in the Playoffs. Go hard after Lebron!! If he stays in the City of no hope then go after Carmelo next summer. Don’t blow your wad this summer giving cash to clunkers. If you don’t get Wade or LBJ spend a few bucks on gathering those role players for when a Star Besides Rose comes to play.

  17. seancdennis@hotmail.com'
    blackfujones May 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    @max
    who might that wing player be? Joe Johnson who shot 29 freaking percent from the field, while averaging 13pts a game? And dont come here talking that “HE GOT DOUBLED CONSTANTLY CRAP” bc a 6’3 guard by the name of D rose got doubled/tripled team when he crossed half court and still average 28 and 7. And the thing is Im not down on him for his scoring, im down on him bc of his damn effort. That was piss poor effort from every damn hawk out there besides pachulia and horford. They all look like spoiled AAU ballplayers who expect to win everything. Hell I wish we could pick up al horford instead of iso-joe. The kid has a good head and a motor that wont quit, plus hes playing out of position and still puttin up numbers. But back to iso-joe……To come out and say he could care less what fans say ha! Could you imagine if he said that shit in a bulls uniform? We’d rip him a new one, nah ill pass on him

  18. m_nazabal@yahoo.com'
    Max May 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    I never said anything about getting Joe Johnson!! I said go after Lebron when the Celtics bounce him out of the playoffs!! Or try to get Wade if not save your money and go after Carmelo next summer. I find it funny that it is lost on people that Noah can quite possibly be a 20 and 15 kind of guy every night (Only if he keeps improving on his offensive game) I repeat I never said go get Joe Johnson!!!

  19. rossana-AHA@hotmail.com'
    Bill thomas May 12, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    Remember MAX back in the 90’s the Bulls had MJ, thats why they didn’t need to great PF player, but also remember this MAX, that was the past and this is now a new Bulls team!

    In order for the Bulls to get better I think they need to sign a BIG guy like: David Lee to a 4-5 year deal for 9-9.6 million dollars. Then they should go after their swing man Rudy Gay by trading L. Deng.

    After that they should sign: Morrow, Korver or Azubuike to a 3 year deal for 4-5 million dollars since they are really good 3 point shooters to help Hinrich and they are taller SG.

    Then after that while see what other options they have before the trading deadline of 2011.

    By making these moves the Bulls will have a better recorded and they will have a better chance of getting father into the playoffs.

  20. rossana-AHA@hotmail.com'
    Bill thomas May 12, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    IF Rose and Noah continue to improve and both of them take their games to the next level their is no telling who far we will get into the playoffs!

    I don’t know about u Max but, I am sick and tired of waiting for some1 like: Lebron, Wade or Carmelo to make up their minds and see if they want to play for the Bulls, which I high doubt either 1 of these players will come here and sign a long term contract. That is why I will take my chances a realistic roster with Rose, Noah, Hinrich, Lee, and Rudy Gay Hopefully to take us to the finals with other solid players.

  21. rossana-AHA@hotmail.com'
    Bill thomas May 12, 2010 at 4:10 am #

    their is no telling how far we will get into the playoffs!*

  22. Trm378@gmail.com'
    Trm3 May 12, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    Thank you blackfujones!

    I agree with everything u said..the whole John Salmons part/Joe Johnson..I hated that whole dribble dribble then wait only to put up at contested jumper. It was like make a f’in move already!

    Joe Johnson is gonna want a “Max” deal and he’s not worth it, I hope were not that stupid cause there’s only 3 guys worth that..Bron Bron, Wade, and Bosh..everybody else NO. With the way the Cavs rely on Bron Bron so much and the way they can’t do anything without him averaging a triple double with his All-Star supporting cast that would be bench players in the D-League and if they get bounced out the way they could be, he could be gone..just saying..he did give A LOT of praise to Rose after that series, almost sounding like he’d like to play with him?? Just sayin tho.

  23. Trm378@gmail.com'
    Trm3 May 12, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    Bill, I understand ur frustration of wanting to know what those guys minds are thinkin and if they’re interested in being in Chicago..but that’s business and it’s not July yet. But if we just settle for David Lee and Rudy Gay (who I definitely want in a sign and trade for Deng)..we’ll just be another Atlanta Hawks or Utah Jazz..teams that will make the playoffs but won’t sniff the Finals. We NEED another stud to play along with Rose. Building a solid team is nice but u need 2 Stars.

    If we were to get a max guy “IF” this is how we should follow:

    1) Bron Bron/Lee – Although Bron may take all our money, lol

    2) Wade/Lee

    3) Bosh or Amar’e/Gay (sign n trade) then try to sign Allen or Korver

    4) If ur down with just making the playoffs and being out in the second round..this is where just going after Lee, Gay, Morrow, Korver and whoever else go..ok, maybe we’ll get to the Conference Finals cause I believe in Rose and Noah will be even better.

    5) In Fantasy land..Bron or Wade/Bosh or Amar’e..then they can just give us our rings before the season starts, lol

    Remember we didn’t free up this money just to go after David Lee and co.

  24. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    DJ May 12, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    I see you point Trm3 but, you under estimate what David Lee can do for this team. Me personally I think he is as good as Amar’e and even better then Boozer. Plus he will come out cheaper then Amar’e, Boozer, Bosh, Wade, Joe Johnson and Lebron of course. Remember, David Lee is a double double machine like Noah. He may not be as good as Noah on defense but, he plays like him and hustle his butt off every game and I like that in a player unlike John Salmons that screw us over lol.

    Plus adding Morrow or Korver, I think that will only improve our guard rotation with taller SG again. Especially scoring from downtown were the Bulls only had Hinrich that was hitting them at a high percentage.

    Also by trading L. Deng for Rudy Gay that will only make our team even stronger. Plus R. Gay looked really good when he was playing on the Olympic team summer camp training program with all the best top NBA players even with D. Rose.

    Sure by having this roster that I made up will only make us as good as the Atlanta Hawks or Utah Jazz team but, then again we mate not never know b-cuz if D. Rose and J. Noah take their games to the next level, then their is no telling how far we will get. Hell maybe even to the Conference Finals with the right coach lol. (Byron Scott hopefully)

    And Trm3 I am aware that their is a reason why the Bulls free-up a lot of money this summer, but they don’t have to take that same direction that most teams are planning to do. Plus it is not easy to get a top star like: Lebron, Wade or Bosh when they have a lot of good offers from other teams on the table.

    Remember we still have the trading deadline this fall if my idea didn’t work out. Plus we got our draft picks this summer and their is no telling if they will be as good as Gisbson or even better.

    All I am saying Trm3 is that my idea sound more realistic in what the Bulls mate do hopefully…

  25. mrgar87@live.com'
    bill thomas May 12, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    I see you point Trm3 but, you under estimate what David Lee can do for this team. Me personally I think he is as good as Amar’e and even better then Boozer. Plus he will come out cheaper then Amar’e, Boozer, Bosh, Wade, Joe Johnson and Lebron of course. Remember, David Lee is a double double machine like Noah. He may not be as good as Noah on defense but, he plays like him and hustle his butt off every game and I like that in a player unlike John Salmons that screw us over lol.

    Plus adding Morrow or Korver, I think that will only improve our guard rotation with taller SG again. Especially scoring from downtown were the Bulls only had Hinrich that was hitting them at a high percentage.

    Also by trading L. Deng for Rudy Gay that will only make our team even stronger. Plus R. Gay looked really good when he was playing on the Olympic team summer camp training program with all the best top NBA players even with D. Rose.

    Sure by having this roster that I made up will only make us as good as the Atlanta Hawks or Utah Jazz team but, then again we mate not never know b-cuz if D. Rose and J. Noah take their games to the next level, then their is no telling how far we will get. Hell maybe even to the Conference Finals with the right coach lol. (Byron Scott hopefully)

    And Trm3 I am aware that their is a reason why the Bulls free-up a lot of money this summer, but they don’t have to take that same direction that most teams are planning to do. Plus it is not easy to get a top star like: Lebron, Wade or Bosh when they have a lot of good offers from other teams on the table.

    Remember we still have the trading deadline this fall if my idea didn’t work out. Plus we got our draft picks this summer and their is no telling if they will be as good as Gisbson or even better.

    All I am saying Trm3 is that my idea sound more realistic in what the Bulls mate do hopefully…

  26. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    DJ May 12, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    I like you comment Bill…

  27. aha.ins@live.com'
    bill thomas May 12, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    @ Trm3

    I see you point Trm3 but, you under estimate what David Lee can do for this team. Me personally I think he is as good as Amar’e and even better then Boozer. Plus he will come out cheaper then Amar’e, Boozer, Bosh, Wade, Joe Johnson and Lebron of course. Remember, David Lee is a double double machine like Noah. He may not be as good as Noah on defense but, he plays like him and hustle his butt off every game and I like that in a player unlike John Salmons that screw us over lol.

    Plus adding Morrow or Korver, I think that will only improve our guard rotation with taller SG again. Especially scoring from downtown were the Bulls only had Hinrich that was hitting them at a high percentage.

    Also by trading L. Deng for Rudy Gay that will only make our team even stronger. Plus R. Gay looked really good when he was playing on the Olympic team summer camp training program with all the best top NBA players even with D. Rose.

    Sure by having this roster that I made up will only make us as good as the Atlanta Hawks or Utah Jazz team but, then again we mate not never know b-cuz if D. Rose and J. Noah take their games to the next level, then their is no telling how far we will get. Hell maybe even to the Conference Finals with the right coach lol. (Byron Scott hopefully)

    And Trm3 I am aware that their is a reason why the Bulls free-up a lot of money this summer, but they don’t have to take that same direction that most teams are planning to do. Plus it is not easy to get a top star like: Lebron, Wade or Bosh when they have a lot of good offers from other teams on the table.

    Remember we still have the trading deadline this fall if my idea didn’t work out. Plus we got our draft picks this summer and their is no telling if they will be as good as Gisbson or even better.

    All I am saying Trm3 is that my idea sound more realistic in what the Bulls mate do hopefully…

  28. Trm378@gmail.com'
    Trm3 May 12, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    Bill and DJ..are u guys the same cause I could have sworn I read the same thing 3 times, lol

    I don’t mind what u guy(s) are saying..I like many of others and in the NBA circle “experts” think we need another superstar to go with Rose and Noah. What we do IF we signed 1 of the big 3 would complete our team. Gotta ways to go tho..July can’t get here fast enough. Then again we need a coach still.

  29. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    DJ May 13, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    what??? are you talking about Trm3 I just like Bill comment. He was the one who wrote that comment 1st. Anyway Let go BULS and make some big moves!!!

  30. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    DJ May 13, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    with adding semi-star players like Lee, Morrow or Korver and Rudy Gay in exchange for deng!!!

  31. kingofsouth32@yahoo.com'
    Rashaad May 18, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    the hawks should trade joe for the #2 or #5 so we could probable get Evan turner or wesley johnson to replace joe and we could sign haywood from free agents

Leave a Reply

Designed by Anthony Bain