Joe Johnson numbers are down, but he's not worried

Elsa

If Joe Johnson had a five-stretch in Atlanta like he's had at the start of his career in Brooklyn, there wouldn't be the concern there is among fans. It's five games, after all. But JJ was the Nets signature addition this off-season and he's owed $89.2 million. Is it time to worry? He and his coach say no.

At first glance, the numbers would suggest Joe Johnson is not having a good season. His career numbers are 17.7 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting overall and 36.9 percent from deep, in 36.6 minutes game. This year, both his point totals (13.6) and shooting percentage (36.2 percent) are way off the norm, although his three-point shooting is way up (45.0 percent). Is this something to be concerned about or just an anomalous five-game stretch?


"There’s a possibility that Joe can average 22 points a game for us, or he can average 16. Was this his most efficient game? No. But he’ll get there. He’s playing with Deron Williams, he’s playing with Brook Lopez," Avery Johnson told Dave D'Alessandro, seemingly explaining that he's adjusting to having other scorers on the roster.. "After 10 or 20 games or so, 40 games, I’ll see what his efficiency number should be, and that’s going to be our target, and we’ll get there."

Joe Johnson himself is not concerned ...that much. "Definitely. It will come together soon," the 31-year-old shooting guard told ESPN's Mike Mazzeo after going 3-for-13 from the field Sunday. "Sooner or later, it’s going to come. Obviously I haven’t been shooting a high percentage, but I’m still feeling my way around and trying to get acclimated to the players around me."

Is it possible that the Nets big off-season acquisition is on the downside of his career, with $89.2 million still on the books? It's possible, stats would suggest otherwise. Last year, John Hollinger wrote recently, was Johnson's most efficient season in Atlanta.

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