For as much as I like to call Joe Johnson the most overrated player in the NBA, his plantar fasciitis could be the deciding factor in the Brooklyn Nets first-round exit. The Chicago Bulls know a thing or two about injury. However, they have battled the issues all season long while this is Johnson’s first serious bout with such a problem.
Joakim Noah was a non-factor for the Bulls in game one, but bounced back in game two with a historically impressive fourth quarter that gave the Bulls a decisive road victory. Noah is a workhouse, but his ineffectiveness in game one shows just how debilitating the nagging injury can be.
Johnson has never been a key-player in the postseason, so even if he’s healthy don’t expect him to riddle of a 20 point game considering he has never averaged more than 20 points in any postseason series. As the sixth highest paid player in the NBA Johnson has a marginal reputation, to live up to but he has disappeared before — the Atlanta Hawks fan base can attest to his Casper-like performances.
Nonetheless, without Johnson in the lineup that means that guards like C.J Watson and Kieth Bogans will have to play a huge role and considering they are both ex-Bulls it should be an interesting showdown to say the least. Looking at the statistics and the play from game two, it’s looking more and more likely that the Bulls are hitting their stride at the perfect time. Johnson does have a physical advantage on many of the Bulls guards, but that would quickly turn to a disadvantage if Watson gets a bulk of the playing time.