Jason Kidd says Joe Johnson gets the Nets final shot

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Deron Williams. Paul Pierce. Kevin Garnett. Jason Terry.

Every last one of them can create their own shot and have hit clutch shots before. Plenty of them.

So when a Brooklyn Nets game comes down to :06 left and they need a bucket, Jason Kidd is going to design a play for…

Joe Johnson. That’s what he told Stefan Bondy at the New York Daily News.

“If you’re into analytics, you look at Joe Johnson as the clear-cut guy taking the last-second shot,” Kidd said. “He was 9-for-10 with 24 seconds or less. So that would be your guy who is the closer.”

I am into analytics, and Johnson has some very impressive clutch numbers. With his team behind by three points or less, or tied, in the last 30 seconds of a game he was 8-of-9 last season; in the last 10 seconds of those games it was 3-of-4. In the final minute of a game where the game was within five points (ahead or behind) he was 10-of-14.

Kidd’s making the smart call here, because Johnson also can dish to one of the guys mentioned above if the defense overloads.

However, if you are not into analytics and just want some video evidence of Johnson in the clutch from last season, here you go.

Kidd added it’s not all Johnson at the end of games.

“But the game of basketball is such that you draw up a play for one player, most of the time it doesn’t end up with that one guy taking the shot. He creates a problem, which results to one of teammates getting a wide-open look. Make-or-miss, it’s the right basketball play,” Kidd said. “For us, it’s about making the right basketball play at the end. But if you’re looking at stats, which a lot of you people do, Joe Johnson’s name comes first. … He’s a guy who delivers. He loves that stage at the end of having the ball and making the right play.”

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.