Raptors still looking for ways to slow down Nets' Johnson

Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson looks to drive around Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10)...

Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson looks to drive around Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) during the fourth quarter of Game 3 on April 25. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:32 PM ET

Maybe it’s the name that seems so much more ordinary than the player: Joe Johnson.

Just another guy named Joe. Just another guy named Johnson.

Or, maybe it’s the fact that his contract gets more attention than the player, especially in a lineup that includes Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

But if anything has separated the Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets through three games of this pounding, physical, uneven, occasionally flawed playoff series, it has been the Nets’ small forward who is, and plays, anything but small.

To refer to Joe Johnson as a small forward always seems inappropriate. His hands are huge. He is 6-foot-7, regular size for the position, but weighing at least the 240 pounds he’s listed at, maybe more. A forward, yet. Small, no. Huge when it matters.


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