Joe Johnson keeps dominating in buzzer-beating situations

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Johnson stunned the Thunder with a last-second game-winner on Thursday night, and his clutch play over the past two seasons has been remarkable.

Joe Johnson has come under fire at times the past few years for not living up to the mammoth contract that will pay him nearly $70 million over this season and the next two. While still productive, Johnson doesn't consistently perform at a high enough level to warrant all that money, and the nickname "Iso Joe" is usually viewed in a negative light.

But despite his shortcomings, there's a time where Johnson has consistently produced in Brooklyn: the clutch.

Johnson showed off his clutch gene yet again on Thursday night, stunning the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder at the buzzer to give the Brooklyn Nets a much-needed 95-93 comeback win on the road:


Johnson had struggled for much of the game, shooting just 3-of-10 overall and 1-of-6 from three prior to his game-winner. But Nets head coach Jason Kidd drew up the final play for Johnson anyway, because the 32-year-old hasn't just been good in the clutch in Brooklyn, he has been otherworldly.

Over the last two seasons, Johnson is 6-of-6 in the final 10 seconds of regulation or overtime when his team is tied or behind by three points or less. In the final 30 seconds of regulation or overtime in similar situations, Johnson is 12-of-14.

Tim Bontemps of the New York Post took the time to compare Johnson's stats in those situations to some other top players in the NBA. The results are quite interesting:

Of course, none of this means Johnson is actually better than any of those players, besides Pierce. The sample size is very small, and Johnson wasn't all that successful in the clutch as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. Still, this recent run he's on is quite incredible.

Prior to the season, Johnson talked to Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game about his clutch play. Johnson spoke about reading the defense and forcing his defender to over-anticipate whatever moves he makes. Johnson said ideally he likes to be able to make two moves in order to create separation and get up a good shot. That happened on Thursday.

Johnson's hot shooting in the clutch is not really sustainable, but until he starts missing those shots regularly again, the nickname "Joe Cool" may just be a better fit than "Iso Joe."

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