James Johnson 2017-18 Season Rundown

James Johnson
Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain

After a strong 2016-17 campaign, James Johnson was named one of the HEAT’s captains entering this past season.

He didn’t take that responsibility lightly.

Time and time again, Johnson brought the right approach to big-time games and wreaked havoc on both ends of the floor like only he can. In particular, JJ really kicked things into high gear late in the season and helped the HEAT get into the playoffs.

Let’s get into some of Johnson’s notable games below.

Jan. 20 vs. Charlotte: Scoring Five Points In Less Than Five Seconds

There were plenty of crazy sequences from 2017-18, but this one takes the cake.

With Miami rallying from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, JJ finally evened things up with an improbable five-point sequence in less than five seconds. (Josh Richardson helped make it happen with a steal on Nicolas Batum.)

Before that point though, Johnson initiated offense, attacked the basket and took it right at Marvin Williams.

Thanks to that aggressive approach, Johnson tallied 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, six boards, a team-high seven assists and a team-high plus-10 rating.

March 10 vs. Washington: Setting The Tone

Simply put, JJ got the party started with a one-handed jam and never looked back.

From there, the burly forward routinely got into the paint for some nifty finishes and also set up his teammates quite well in this matchup.

As a result, Johnson finished the night with a team-high 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting, five assists and two rebounds.

March 19 vs. Denver: Doing Whatever It Takes

The term “overtime thriller” can be overused at times, but not in this case.

With the HEAT and Nuggets both seeking to improve their playoff seeding, Johnson laid it all on the line in a double OT victory.

How so?

Well, he scored 18 points in both overtime periods combined thanks to a bunch of treys and some of his usual aggressive attacks to the rim. Of course, JJ also held Paul Millsap scoreless after the fourth quarter.

Like the title says, he did whatever it took.

When it was all said and done, Johnson recorded a team and career-high 31 points on 13-of-17 shooting, a team-high 11 rebounds and six assists.

March 27 vs. Cleveland: Accepting The Challenge

Entering this contest, LeBron James was taking things to another level and his Cavaliers had won five straight.

But JJ wasn’t fazed one bit.

Although the 31-year-old Johnson did his thing on the offensive end, he really shined when defending James and held him to just 4-of-10 shooting and six turnovers in the 53 possessions he was assigned to him.

That’s nuts.

At the end of the day, Johnson amassed 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting, nine boards, five assists, three blocks, two steals and a plus-16 rating.

April 16 Game 2 vs. Philadelphia: Getting Close To Perfection

While this game will be remembered for Dwyane Wade’s remarkable performance, JJ also played a major role in the victory.

In addition to hanging with Ben Simmons on the defensive end, Johnson mixed things up offensively with finishes inside and shots from beyond the arc. In fact, he had the most field goals made (with a three-point attempt) without a miss in franchise postseason history.

In all, the forward accumulated 18 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block.


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