Something isn’t adding up here. Blake Griffin is out indefinitely for the rest of the playoffs, Rudy Gobert has hardly played 24 minutes through four games of the series due to injury, and Gordon Hayward got food poisoning. Yet, 35-year old Joe Johnson has somehow been the story of the series.
He may be the story of the series because discovering the fountain of youth or time travel is a much more uncommon story than Blake Griffin’s annual injuries.
But the question becomes: how much longer can Johnson keep this streak going?
Surely, the Jazz will keep riding him until the wheels fall off because, well, what other options do they have? Even though Gobert had a monstrous return, his minutes will remain restricted for the time being. Hayward was only able to log nine minutes last game and an increase in minutes for next is uncertain.
While injury-prone, Alec Burks missing time is less of a story, it’s still notable. The Jazz seem endlessly shorthanded at this point and for that reason, Johnson’s emergence has been all the more valuable.
Whether he can continue his heroics remains to be seen, but the value of what he’s done so far won’t be changed. Both of his 20+ point performances came in close victories, one of which resulted from a buzzer beater from him.
He will have to try to fend off elimination for his team long enough for their stars to return at full strength.
In a year dominated by MVP talk, in the playoffs, it’s refreshing to here about another team’s unlikely postseason MVP. As fans of the game we should all be rooting for “Iso Joe” to keep balling like it’s 2006, unless of course you’re a Clippers fan.