Thursday , May , 20 , 2010 J.N.

Are Joe Johnson and Amar’e Worth Max Money?

We know they’re chasing the big cash, but are they worth the dollars they are looking for? Forget the regular season. The playoffs are the true indicators of their worth.

Joe Johnson believes that his performance in the playoff series against the Orlando Magic did not hurt his chances of getting a max deal. A basketball God must throw a lightning bolt and strike on him to bring a jolt of reality. Let’s not start with Johnson’s playoff statistics. The numbers are embarrassing. Instead, concentrate on how he performed. Remember those days when you take a test, but somewhere you gave up because the questions became too difficult as you went on? You just wanted the class to end already and leave. Joe Johnson did something similar with the Atlanta Hawks.  

He is awesome during the regular season. In the playoffs, however, Johnson disappears.  

His play is very indicative that he is not an elite player. Sure he can average 20-5-5 during the season, but in the playoffs, that is where he’s supposed to show the world what his game is about at the highest level. He failed. Joe Johnson was disinterested in his body language. He snapped back at fans. He mentally checked out, packed his bags, and waiting for the taxi. He scored 8 points twice – game seven against Milwaukee and game 3 against Orlando.

No player can ever mentally check out during the playoffs as the presumed team’s best player.  

Amar’e Stoudemire should have kept his mouth shut about Lamar Odom’s lucky 19 rebound game in game one against the Lakers. Odom came back in the second game with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Amar’e got 3 rebounds in the first game and 6 rebounds in the second. He also showed no effort to play defense. Did he already mentally check out? STAT is looking for a max deal as well claiming that his play got expensive. If anything, it got cheaper. His game is losing value. Did these performances hurt his value around the league?  

The regular season stuff is crap compared to the playoffs. These guys are supposed to be trying to woo future employers to invest big cash in them. Instead, Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire are doing the opposite. Why is this even happening at a crucial time? The Phoenix Suns should really reconsider offering STAT a max deal. Is it wise to build the team around him as he nears his thirties with two bad legs and a bad eye?

The Hawks have prepared for life without Joe. They do not need him.

Some teams will offer a max deal because they don’t want to be left without anything. I cannot blame them because if their management thinks that either puts their team over the top then go for it. They should not be the main centerpiece to build around. I would be wary of offering a near max deal, too. The thought with acquiring one of them means that the team already has an alpha dog. Stoudemire and Johnson are the second options. 

Are they worthy of a max deal?

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