During the past two years, Joe Johnson has limped into the all-star break in either a slump and/or because of fatigue. He has had below average performances in the playoffs because of nagging injuries and/or fatigue.
Moral of the story, Joe Johnson wears down. It may be the happenstance of injury or a rough shooting stretch, but the consistency of the break down occurring at the end of long stretches of games makes it pretty clear that Joe plays all out for too many minutes, over too long a time period.
In Sekou Smith's latest coloumn, Joe more or less admits it.
"When I'm out there, I don't want to come out," Johnson said. "I just pay the price later. In the heat of the battle, I don't ever want to come out."
"I can't put a lot of that on coach," he said. "You have to put it on me, because even when he asks me if I want a break or if I'm tired, I always say no. Even if I'm tired and I can't breathe, I still tell him no. That's not me being selfish. I'm just a competitor to the point that I feel like I can really do something to help my team win.""
So to recap.
1. Joe does not come out because he can help the team win.
2. That is until he "pays the price" and subsequently cannot help the team win anymore.
3. To pull of this deception, Joe lies to Mike Woodson.
4. Despite the fact that the answer is always the same and Joe has said in the past the answer will continue to be the same, Woodson dictates his decision to play or rest Joe based on a lie that everyone knows is a lie.
My head hurts.
I am not sure where Joe goes from competitor to selfish or Mike Woodson goes from not at fault to totally at fault, but those lines are there somewhere.