When the Brooklyn Nets have their full complement of stars, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson, in the lineup, the team loses on an infrequent basis. Of the 43 games in which the Nets have had all three players healthy, they have won 27, which translates to a .628 winning percentage.
So far, things seem to be working out quite nicely for the trio in their first season of playing together.
However, it is the rare partnership that is created equally, so it cannot be said that each of the three players was responsible for an equal share in the team's success during those 43 contests. Additionally, it cannot be said that each deserved an equal share of the blame when a game's outcome wasn't in the Nets' favor.
If one were in the mood to point fingers and seek out a scapegoat for the reason why the Nets have lost 16 of those 43 games when the three have played together, then all fingers would definitely have to be pointed in Joe Johnson's direction.
While Johnson is certainly not the sole factor contributing to a loss by the Nets, his lack of production is certainly one of their problems.
Now, both Williams and Lopez also struggle during games in which the Nets lose, but no one experiences such a precipitous drop in his output as does Johnson. In fact, Johnson's lack of production in losses, relative to how he performs when the Nets are victorious, represents a statistically significant decline.
In those 27 games, Johnson performed as one would expect from a star player. He averaged 18.5 points while posting an effective field-goal percentage of 51.3 percent and a true shooting percentage of 54.6 percent. Since all Johnson really does anymore is shoot, it has been really important for the Nets that he score that efficiently, so they can recoup some value from his presence on the team.
Disappointingly, Johnson has not been able to keep up that level of production in the other 16 games. During those contests, he has seen his scoring average dip to 14.5 points per game while posting an effective field-goal percentage of 43.4 percent and a true shooting percentage of 47.3 percent.
For a player who is relied upon as a scorer, Johnson has failed to live up to expectations in those 16 losses.
Rebounding also seems to be something Johnson forgets to do in Nets' losses. This season, he has not been a very interested rebounder at the best of times, as evidenced by his 5.4 total rebounding percentage in the 27 wins, but his lackluster 4.0 total rebounding percentage in the 16 losses is positively embarrassing.
Under no circumstances is Johnson the only player in the NBA who performs poorly when his team loses, but one would be hard-pressed to find a player whose statistics decline more steeply than do Johnson's.
As a result of Johnson's completely disparate performances in wins and losses, it stands to reason that one could use how well he shoots in a game as a barometer to determine the chances of the Nets winning.
All statistics were calculated personally.
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