Nets’ Cam Johnson stuck in uncharacteristic shooting slump


The Nets have been in a team-wide skid.

But no player has slumped more than Cam Johnson.

The sweet-shooting forward has averaged just 9.6 points over his last seven games, on uncharacteristic .333/.267/.556 shooting splits for a team-worst minus 3.3.

As the best pure shooter on the Nets’ roster, those numbers are surprising.

“That’s how the game goes sometimes,” Johnson said recently of the make-or-miss nature of the league and shooting slumps. “You’ve got to be able to weather the storms and continue to have confidence, shoot the ball.”

Through Johnson’s first 27 games, he’d played like his usual self.

He averaged 15 points on .479/.425/.739 splits for a plus-0.3, and that’s despite missing time due to injury and having played in the FIBA World Cup.

Cam Johnson has struggled during the Nets’ skid. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

But right now, Johnson’s field goal percentage and 3-point percentages have dropped to their lowest since his second year in the NBA.

And his eye-watering .455 free throw shooting this month is actually the worst on the team, behind even big men Nic Claxton and Day’Ron Sharpe.

His defense has taken a hit as well, including being sent to the floor by a spin move from Kawhi Leonard on Sunday night.

With the Nets returning to start a homestand Tuesday night against the rival Knicks, they need Johnson to break out.

Cam Johnson's numbers have dipped since producing like usual during the Nets' first 27 games.
Cam Johnson’s numbers have dipped since producing like usual during the Nets’ first 27 games. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The 22-0 run the Nets allowed to close that Clippers loss tied the biggest game-ending run since play-by-play data was first tracked in 1997-98.

Minnesota closed on a similar run in a 107-101 win over Houston on March 26, 2021, and the Clippers actually had another 22-0 run to beat the Grizzlies, 98-88, on Nov. 29, 2009.

Cam Thomas had a career-high tying six assists against the Clippers.

He has 14 over his last three games.

Ben Simmons (back) and Sharpe (knee) are expected to be examined and evaluated now that the Nets have returned home.

Simmons has been going two-on-two and three-on-three, and was on the trip with the Nets.

Coach Jacque Vaughn was coy about exactly what Simmons has been able to do or even the next stage in his recovery.

“I’m not gonna give you a step-by-step,” Vaughn said. “He’ll move on to that next step, which will be when we get home he’ll get examined again after this long five-hour flight and see how he responds to another week of basketball.”

The team had said on Jan. 9 that Sharpe would be reevaluated in roughly two weeks.

With the Nets hosting the Knicks on Tuesday, the backup center’s status should presumably be clearer by then.

“Yeah, hopefully,” said Vaughn. “We miss Day’Ron. I told that to our group the other day. Miss hearing him on the bus, miss hearing him in the locker room. So look forward to seeing the big fella when we get back home.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *