01 Mar What The Joe Johnson Signing Means To The Heat
Shortly after Joe Johnson cleared the waivers on Saturday, Miami Heat owner Mickey Arison proudly took to Twitter to announce that his Miami Heat have signed the former Brooklyn sharpshooter:
— Micky Arison (@MickyArison) February 27, 2016
All Eyes on Joe Johnson
And so the Heat played the Knicks on Sunday, with all eyes on Joe Johnson.
Dwayne Wade led the way with 26 points while a trio of youngsters showed us a glimpse of the Heat future.
Rookie Justice Winslow scored 13 points while fellow freshman Josh Richardson added 8 points while being a +9 on the court. On the other hand, Hassan Whiteside had another big game with 16 points and 11 boards.
Joe Johnson played 30 minutes, shot 5-10 from the field and finished with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and was a +15 when he was on the floor. Johnson’s first basket gave him 19,000 points, putting him six points off Reggie Theus for #50 in the NBA’s All-Time scoring list. That’s how prolific a scorer he has been in 15 NBA seasons.
Said Wade after the game:
“You get a guy a caliber of, a player like him, you normally get that in the offseason. So to be able to get it right now, as you’re going into a playoff run, is very important for this team, especially with everything that we’ve been dealing with.”
A Shot In The Arm
As the Heat make the final push to get one of the top four spots in the Eastern Conference, the team has been dealt with a series of blows that look to derail them. Leading scorer Chris Bosh has been sidelined since February 9 as he continues to be treated for an undisclosed illness. Earlier this season, sparkplug guard Tyler Johnson underwent shoulder surgery. Then just last Friday, the Heat announced that back-up point guard Beno Udrih will be out for the remainder of the season with a foot injury.
Currently, the Heat are on top of the Southeast Division at 33-26 but are just half a game better than the Atlanta Hawks. Miami also has the 4th best record in the East and trail the Celtics for third place by just 1.5 games. With a race that tight, the Heat need to win every single game they can if they are to make noise in the playoffs. Getting Joe Johnson is a shot in the arm.
Said Johnson after the win in MSG:
“This is kind of new, but I’m up for it, man. It’s a challenge. I’m looking forward to it, and every game from here on out is going to be a playoff-type game for us. We’ve got to have that mentality.”
Chasing A Title
Joe Johnson left so many memories in Brooklyn, as well as with the teams he’s played. But none of those memories included an NBA title, not even a title game for that matter. Johnson ranks third among active NBA players in most games played without a championship game, only Andre Miller and Vince Carter have more. Coming to Miami give Johnson another chance at that.
From playing for the second worst team in the East last week, to being on one that’s fighting for the Top 4 is certainly an opportunity after being bought out by the Nets. Prior to being waived, Johnson was making $24.9M this season, part of the monster $124M deal he signed with the Nets in 2010. At least 7 playoff teams pursued Johnson, but it was Dwyane Wade’s pitch and Johnson’s relationship with some Heat players that brought him to South Beach.
Will This Jesus Save?
Kevin Garnett and the Barclays faithful used the nickname Joe Jesus among others for Joe Johnson. That’s because Johnson was and still is one of the best clutch shooters in the game. Johnson owned the last five buzzer beating game winners for the Brooklyn Nets. The last Net to his a game winning buzzer beater other than Johnson was Devin Harris in 2009. The last of those game winners came against the Denver Nuggets earlier in February. In the last decade, Johnson has a total of 7 game winners, easily the most in the NBA over that period. Month Ellis and Andre Iguodala each have four to trail Joe Jesus.
Joe Johnson is averaging just 11.8 points per game this season, his lowest since 2003. But plug in his 37% 3FG shooting to a team that’s dead last in the league in 3P% at 31.7% and 2nd to the last in 3FGs made at 5.8 per game, he makes Miami a more potent offensive threat. Johnson’s ability to hit the three ball makes him an excellent floor spacer and one that the Heat haven’t had since another player nicknamed Jesus- Jesus Shuttlesworth, left the team for retirement. Jesus Shuttlesworth was Ray Allen, and we knew what he did to help Miami win a title. Sure, they had LeBron back then. But today is no longer an era of a one man show. It’s the better teams that dominate and those that shoot well from deep. That’s what the Joe Johnson signing means for Miami.
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