Boston Reaches, Johnson Teaches

The NBA named this Game 2 video ‘Joe Johnson Owns the 4th Quarter‘, but I’d like to also call either a ‘Joe Johnson Tutorial‘, or more specifically, ‘What Happens If You Don’t Double Team A Shooter On A Roll‘. First, here’s the video:

and here are the moves new ballers out there can learn from. I recommend you load the video first till the end, then adjust the slider to the specific times below to see what I’m talking about.

00:10 – Contact then shoot. Probably J Johnson’s fave move and we’ll see this several times in this video. Basically involves constantly coming into contact with your defender for two reasons, 1.) to know where he is using your sense of feel instead of looking at him and 2.) to bump him off his feet to get you an open shot.

00:25 – Posey makes the fatal mistake of reaching for the ball, easily handled by Johnson via a crossover, step to the right for a J on top of the key. Kinda like what MJ says to the younger MJ in that Nike commercial where he goes ‘You reach, I teach.

00:40 – Same as above. His primary defender gives up to let someone else come over. Head fake, gets defender to commit then a crossover, with amazingly no help defense for an easy layup. More of a defensive black mark rather than an offensive gem, to be honest.

00:57 – Oh I love this. He bangs Sam Cassell just enough to get him jumping to his right, then takes a step to his left for the open J. BEAUTIFUL. I didn’t watch the game so I’m giving the Celtics the benefit of the doubt here as I have no idea why wasn’t he being double teamed at this point.

1:11 – The Stepback Dagger Three! Fake a step forward to make your defender think you’re about to attack, then go back to your pivot (left) foot behind the three point line. Feet together, knees bent, shoot into the air not at the basket, end with a bent wrist just like the drill told you. Just PERFECT.

1:38 – Hesitation Dribble, establish defense by Contact then shoot above their head.

1:51 – Same move again, blowing by Ray Allen and shooting on top of the head of the help defense.

So if you think that few seconds Johnson’s crouching around or dribbling just before he gets into his moves is so photographers can focus on him, he’s actually taking time to think what he’s gonna do.

Not to discredit Atlanta of course, but Boston just looks tired. They could’ve stopped the guy with double teams and traps, and he was even predictable, always starting from the left side of the court, always ending shots with his right hand.

The result? The youngest, worst record playoff team has now brought it 2 – 2 against the Championship – bound, ‘everybody thought they’d be resting by now‘ mighty Boston Celtics.

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