Johnson had just scored 12 points in the third quarter -- including a stretch of nine straight.
No Raptor had been able to contain him.
So Toronto coach Dwane Casey decided to put defensive specialist/offensive liability Landry Fields in.
Johnson played 6:18 in the fourth quarter -- and Fields guarded him every step of the way.
Johnson had just two points in the final period on 1-for-2 shooting, and the Raptors won 100-95, evening the best-of-seven, first-round Eastern Conference playoff series at 1-1.
Was Johnson surprised Fields came in?
“No, I wasn’t,” he replied.
Did Fields do anything special?
“No,” Johnson replied.
But they must’ve adjusted, no?
“I don't really think there was too much of a difference,” Johnson said. “They came and they trapped. Pretty much what they did in the second half of the first game, and sometimes they came, sometimes they didn't. So I just gotta be patient, take my time and get other guys involved.”
The Nets tried to get Johnson involved when they ran a pick-and-roll involving him and Deron Williams. But Brooklyn didn’t get the switch it wanted.
Williams passed the ball to Johnson, who was being defended by Fields near the 3-point arc on the left wing. Johnson elected to pull-up for the shot, but Fields blocked it with 5:18 left.
Johnson’s only basket against Field was off an out-of-bounds play in which Kevin Garnett picked Fields. The pick allowed Johnson to get Fields on his hip and he got a layup to go with 18.2 seconds left.
But that was it.
“He stopped Joe,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said. “He’s the defensive stopper.”
It’ll be interesting to see how this matchup evolves. How will Johnson adjust?
Will Casey stick with Fields knowing how limited he is as an offensive player?
Game 3 is Friday night at Barclays Center.