Can Best Backcourt Work Together?

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 30: Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks is fouled by Marshon Brooks #9 of the New Jersey Nets in the final seconds of their 105-98 win at Philips Arena on December 30, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Sebastian Pruiti, writing for Grantland, takes a deep look at the Nets new backcourt combo of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, a 1-2 punch unlike anything the Nets have had Jason Kidd demanded a trade to Dallas (although Vince Carter and Devin Harris had their moments. They're two great talents, Pruiti writes, but noted both need the ball in their hands.

Is that a problem? Not necessarily, Pruiti writes. Johnson, or "Iso-Joe" as some call him, writes, "There is still hope for a core of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez, if Johnson is willing to play off of the basketball a little more. He never did that with any consistency while he was with the Hawks, though it's not clear if that was by design or not."

Pruiti notes that one of Johnson's great strengths is hitting the open shot, particularly in clutch situations. "He shot 50.4 percent in "unguarded" catch-and-shoots (according to Synergy). The problem for Johnson is that he didn't get open a lot.
With the Nets, he will be joining two solid passers in Williams and Lopez, and they should be able to create more open catch-and-shoots." Similarly, he writes, Williams has never played "with"someone to alleviate the post pressure, but Joe Johnson can be that guy."

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