Joe Johnson was just 4-of-11 from the field for nine points on Thursday, but he hit three of his four shots in the final 12 minutes, including the game-winner that helped the Nets escape Oklahoma City with a huge 95-93 victory.
Brooklyn trailed by as many as 16 points in this one, and by 10 with under seven minutes to play before finishing on a 16-4 run to seal it. The Nets wouldn’t have been in this position without Deron Williams, who finished with 29 points, four assists and five steals while connecting on six of his nine attempts from three-point distance.
But it was Johnson again with the game on the line, something he’s done multiple times in recent seasons to the point where it’s almost expected. This particular game-winner was far from easy, and required some skilled ball handling just to create enough space to launch the shot over the outstretched arm of Serge Ibaka; the fact that he got it to go was other-level amazing.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.