ATLANTA, GA - MAY 01: Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics defends against Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The Hawks are already without Al Horford and likely to be without Josh Smith for game 3. So much like the Celtics did in game 2 without two of their stars, the Hawks will be looking at their star swingman to lead them. Can Joe Johnson deliver a Truth-like game on Friday? He hasn't delivered so far.
ISO-Joe has never been a pleasing form of basketball and late in Game 2 it was downright horrific. Without Smith, and with Bradley hounding Jeff Teague, the Hawks offense consisted of having four guys stand around the perimeter while Johnson dribbled out the shot clock and launched contested jump shots. Johnson is 10-for-32 in the series and 3-for-17 from 3-point range, but at some point it stands to reason that he’s going to go off.
You can bet the Hawks will be looking to get him going.
“We’ve got to be able to get Joe some open shots,” point guard Jeff Teague said. “We’ve got to figure out how to get him some open shots. Once we do that, we’ll be fine. Our defense wasn’t bad. It’s really just getting him going.”
The law of averages would point to him having a good game sooner rather than later. Just through the sheer volume of shots he's likely to start feeling it soon. The Celtics have the best defense in the league and they specialize in taking away what teams do best, but when you get a iso player hot, they can be very hard to cool down. That will be one of the challenges on Friday night.