Tuesday, April 29, 2008

JJ Comes Up Big in Winning Time

Given the media's obsession with fourth quarter scoring (see: McGrady, Tracy), I expect people to go positively crazy about Joe Johnson's 20-spot in the final frame of tonight's game against the Celtics. And in this case, the attention will be deserved, because he was incredible. The C's were throwing obvious double-teams at him on every trip and still he kept finding a way to slip into the lane for floaters and step back for tough jumpers. I have to say, it was a very Kobe Bryant-esque performance from Johnson.

Two follow-up thoughts:

1. How crazy is it that Joe Johnson is about to outlast the Suns and that the Sixers have outlasted Allen Iverson? The NBA is a strange land these days.

2. The Hawks will probably still lose this series in 6, but they now have something great to build on going forward. They have a legit nucleus in Johnson, Josh Smith, and Al Horford, a good stopgap veteran in Mike Bibby, and a solid rotation player in Josh Childress. If they can find a taker for Marvin Williams and bring in a rebounding big man and a playmaking point guard, they will really have something working. (And I'm sorry, no matter how many times it has been said I can't resist ... why, oh why, couldn't the Hawks have just drafted Chris Paul?)

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