New York Liberty guard Marine Johannès has been one of the biggest revelations of the 2022 WNBA season. Johannès, a 5’10 guard out of France, joined the Libs in 2019 and impressed in a small role with her passing and shooting. She missed the 2020 season because of the pandemic, and then missed the 2021 season because of overseas commitments. Now back in New York, Johannès has been a walking highlight reel all season for an upstart Liberty team, and she saved her best moment for the start of the WNBA Playoffs.
With the Liberty down in the fourth quarter against the defending champion Chicago Sky, Johannès helped start a remarkable comeback with one of the best passes you will see this year. As Chicago trapped Johannès off the pick-and-roll, she fired a ridiculous behind-the-head pass to teammate Natasha Howard for a basket. Watch the video here:
Holy shit, Marine Johannes, what a pass pic.twitter.com/JhJqn3tmbY— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) August 18, 2022
Here’s another angle:
WHAT ON EARTH MARINE JOHANNES pic.twitter.com/lCN7CtTi5F— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) August 18, 2022
This pass is stylish enough by itself, but the stakes made it even more meaningful. On the previous possession, the Sky had pushed their lead to six points on a Courtney Vandersloot layup. Johannès threw this bonkers assist on the next possession, and Chicago wouldn’t score the rest of the game.
Seriously: over the last 3:30 minutes, the Liberty out-scored Chicago 13-0. Keep in mind that the Sky were arguably the best clutch team in the league this year, and have a roster full of veteran talent with championship experience.
The Liberty snuck into the playoffs on the last game of the season, and are now one win away from advancing to the semifinals because the first round is a best-of-3 series. If necessary, Game 3 will be in Brooklyn after the first two games of the series were in Chicago.
Johannès is also an incredible shooter who had a four-point play earlier in the game:
marine johannes mindset >>> pic.twitter.com/nzzqZxUmMU— jack maloney (@jackmaloneycbs) August 18, 2022
Is this the WNBA pass of the year?
There’s only one other pass that immediately comes to mind: Chelsea Gray’s behind-the-back dime late in the regular season against Atlanta.
Both players have unreal vision and creativity, but I give the edge to Johannès’ pass given the stakes of the game. That assist legitimately shocked the Sky into forgetting how to play winning basketball in crunch time.
Everyone should get on board with the Marine Johannès Experience. This Liberty playoff run just might last longer than anyone thought.