The Morning Tip-Off: ‘Joe Johnson is Getting Old’
Every weekday morning, Brooklyn’s Finest will scour the interwebs for the best (and worst) of Nets coverage from the previous day (and night).
1.The numbers (‘Analytics’!) continue to paint a grim picture for this Brooklyn Nets team. In Nylon Calculus’ Brooklyn Nets Season Preview, the Nets are predicted to win 24.3, 25, 28, and 21 games respectively by the various prediction models different writers for the site have developed. The oft-mentioned ‘Jarret Jack is really bad by the numbers’ argument is brought up once again, unsurprisingly, but this preview was also pretty harsh on the highest paid player on this Nets roster, Joe Johnson:
…but Joe Johnson is getting old and he doesn’t offer an NBA team too much of anything anymore besides inexplicable all-star appearances. His usage rate has fallen to an average level, and since historically much of his value has been tied to his scoring this is a concern. He’s still a decent playmaker with isolation and post moves, but it’s not enough to make a big dent in an NBA defense.
If your scoring skills are pretty average, and with his efficiency that’s generous, you need to perform at an elite level in other key areas to drive your team’s offense. Johnson doesn’t offer great screens or Korver-esque spacing or otherworldly offensive rebounding and foul drawing – he’s a good passer, but he’s lacking wizardry there and he wasn’t even a heavy primary option for what turned out to be a mediocre offense. His defense is still pretty good but I shouldn’t have to convince anyone that the aging wing isn’t a game-changer there. Add it all up, and hopefully he projects as an above average player but nothing special – yet he’ll be making nearly 25 million dollars.
In short, Joe Johnson does not offer much any longer, especially to a less talented roster.
2. The former fearless leader of this very Brooklyn Nets blog, David Vertsberger addresses the criticism that his career as a college student is getting in the way of his blogging, admits that he dropped $1300 on his basketball eBay obsession ‘in good health’, and claimed that San Antonio Spurs shooting guard, Danny Green, ‘Owes His Career To Me’ during his preseason press conference on HP Media Day over at Hardwood Paroxysm:
Myles Ma: You’re interviewing James Dolan. What’s your first question?
DV (Verts): You hiring?
MM: Will you ever be old enough to drink?
DV: Like… consume alcohol?
MM: Every great player adds something to their game during the offseason. What have you added to your blogging game?
DV: I’ve got some fun column ideas brewing. Upped my reporting game too. Looking to add this new thing as well, bit of a rare concept to me but I think it’s spelled “mohtivayshon.”
Once again, Hardwood Paroxysm proves to be one of the most creative forces in basketball blogging. It’s no wonder they identified our former leader as a talent.
3. The Brooklyn Nets distributed a press release yesterday indicating that they have decided on their 15-man roster for Opening Night. Justin Harper and Dahntay Jones were the casualties:
The Brooklyn Nets have requested waivers on forward Justin Harper and guard/forward Dahntay Jones, General Manager Billy King announced today.
The Nets must be pretty enamored with Willie Reed to keep the injured big around to start the season and let Justin Harper walk. It’s not an earth-shattering move, both of these players are bottom of the roster fodder for a bad team only, but Harper showed some flashes in the preseason and maybe more importantly was on the court. With Andrea Bargnani’s Opening Night status up in the air, you may have thought the Nets would keep Harper around, just in case.
As for Dahntay Jones, Lionel Hollins may not be thrilled about this move, but it’s inconsequential. As mentioned above, there are lots of questions about Jarrett Jack as a full time starter, and although I’m intrigued by Shane Larkin, Donald Sloan’s ability to handle the ball deservedly gives him the edge over Jones. The Nets have plenty of young, athletic wings to provide at least what Jones provides in Markel Brown and Rondae Hollis-Jefferon, and Wayne Ellington should provide some stability at the wing position as well.
Tonight, the NBA season begins! See you tomorrow!