Joe Johnson returns home tonight to the place he played for seven seasons as an Atlanta Hawk. Johnson appeared in six straight All-Star games as a member of the Hawks from 2007-12 before he was traded to Brooklyn this past summer. Johnson has been a key contributor to the Brooklyn Nets resurgence in January and they head into Atlanta on a roll winners of seven straight games.
Johnson, in his normal monotone voice, told reporters that going back to Atlanta would not be a big deal.
“Not to downplay it, but it’ll be just another game,” said Johnson, who will face the Hawks on Wednesday for the first time since they traded him to the Brooklyn Nets. It’ll just be a little different because it’s a familiar place. Don’t get me wrong: It’ll be great to see some familiar faces and old friends, but I still got one goal and that’s to try to go in there and get a win. It’s not gonna be better than any other win.”
He was asked how he thinks the fans will react to him returning and whether or not he thinks he will be booed or cheered.
“Honestly, I have no idea,” Johnson responded. “It won’t affect me one way or another. I just want us as a team to go in there and do whatever it takes to get a win.”
Johnson had a difficult time getting adjusted to playing with his new team and back court mate Deron Williams early on but certainly seems to have found his groove lately and the numbers tell the story of how important he is to this Nets team.
Johnson is 20 for his last 42 from 3-point range and averaging 20.1 points in the last seven games (all wins). He is averaging 17.3 points on 43.3 percent shooting so far this season and the team is 14-3 when he scores 18 points or more.
Nets fans have fell in love with Johnson in the short time he has been in Brooklyn since he has hit two game winners for the Nets and shows every night how clutch a player he is. Everyone thought Johnson was crazy in training camp when he said this Nets team could compete for a championship this year and with his improved play under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo who is going to tell him otherwise.