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The Amir Johnson Show? [Jan. 24th, 2008|11:15 pm]
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[Current Location |Detroit, MI, USA]
[Special Music |J Dilla - Fuck the Police]

DetroitBadBoys.com has worn thin with me.

Here's Johnson's scouting report from ESPN.com:

2006-07 season: Johnson wins the title of Best Prospect Nobody Has Seen Play. Johnson hardly got on the court for the Pistons, but put up some monstrous numbers in the D-League. In 22 games for Sioux Falls, he averaged 18.3 points, 9.7 boards, and 3.1 blocks while shooting 62.3 percent from the field. He opened eyes in the final game of the regular season when he had 20 points and 12 rebounds against Boston.

His career numbers are really strong, too: In 164 NBA minutes he's shot 58.1 percent from the floor, blocked 15 shots and made 15 of 18 attempts from the line. Only Alonzo Mourning had a better rate of blocks per minute last year. He's still only 20 years old, as he turned pro directly out of high school and was a second-round pick by Detroit in 2005.

Scouting report: A diamond in the rough by all accounts, Johnson is still listed at 6-9 but reportedly has grown since turning pro and now is closer to 6-11. He still needs to add muscle to go with his length, but his numbers from the D-League and his limited pro action indicate his tremendous potential both as a shot-blocker and a finisher around the basket.

Unusually for a player of this type, it also appears he can shoot a little -- at the very least he'll make his foul shots. One red flag from the D-League was that he made over three turnovers a game; he'll have to cut that considerably to break into Detroit's rotation.

2007-08 outlook: Johnson signed a three-year, $11 million deal to stay with Detroit, and he could be a wild card who allows the Pistons to stay on top of the Central Division. Suffice it to say he won't be riding buses around South Dakota this year -- he's no longer eligible, actually, as a third-year player. With Chris Webber and Dale Davis departing, the plan is to plug Johnson in to the frontcourt rotation and see if his athleticism can help energize the Pistons' second unit.

I agree. Good prospect. The kid's young. His major trouble right now will be when to foul (he fouls a lot) and how to move better with the ball (I imagine he's pretty dupe-able with regard to flops and traps, and outside-8-feet shot selection).

Amir's making 3.6 million over three seasons, I believe, including this season. This is a cheaper number on 'potential,' which is one of my least favorite words in sport.

Let me tell you an aside about 'potential.' I had the potential to not mention this kid, but I failed. You had the potential to skip this piece, but you're reading this far, so you failed. The Dallas Cowboys had the potential to ride the wave of NFC dominance (aka being branch manager of Dunder-Mifflin) and had a crack at yet another Super Bowl championship (pissing in wind's chance of not getting wet), but they failed. The Detroit Pistons had the potential to be the definitive dynasty of the first decade of this new century (close call in 2005 NBA Finals, humiliation against Miami in ECF 2006, humiliation against Cleveland in ECF 2007, chances of winning in 08 and 09 very low), but they failed.

Cynical much?

Why yes, I'll have another glass of Shut You the Fuck Up.

Here's the deal.

I take this manifesto to anyone that will listen.

If Detroit wants to have a storybook ending with being the last team standing, then Detroit gives the minutes to Jason, not Amir.

I don't like Flip Saunders, but even Flip realizes his team has gotta win. Now.

For the sake of Detroit's club, with regard to their place in NBA history, for any shot of being remembered other than a NBA version of the 1990s Buffalo Bills, with exception to getting lucky over the course of two crazy months in 2004, well, Detroit fans must realize that Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess are 33, Chauncey Billups is 31, Richard Hamilton is almost 30, and Tayshaun Prince is almost freaking 28. The window with these guys, especially the big guys, is short.

Amir can work on his game, specifically his jump shot, during this summer, not during the middle of a heated race and an outside shot at adding another championship banner.

Are there alternatives, you ask? I can think of one off the top of my fist. The alternative is to move a big man by the trade deadline and roll the dice with more minutes for Amir out of the 4. That means Rasheed or Antonio would have to go, and you'd have to hopefully find a true center in return, make the salaries match (the Pistons are over the soft salary cap and must follow those contract-dollar-matching rules). But first, let me remove some of the pressure from my foot on your neck.

The reality of Detroit's chances reside squarely on the health of Rasheed Wallace. If he becomes injured, the interior defense goes to shit this year, and there is absolutely no chance of getting lucky in every round and pulling off a championship. Because when Kevin Garnett gets somewhat-contained against Detroit in their last meeting, but Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins, and Scot Pollard combine for 29 points out of the center position, uh, well, something is currently wrong with your interior defensive scheme.

However, contrary to bullshit popular belief, Amir is not a guard, and he's not taking Tayshaun's spot, considering uh. . .

*84 percent of Amir's shots, to date, happen inside
*Of his 16 percent of jump shots, 22 percent are blocked
*Of his 16 percent of jump shots, eFG of .222 is frigging terrible

That's a shame, too, because Amir's about the same frame as Tayshaun. So we already got one of those guys, too, and he can hit the jump shots. I mean, there are guys on the roster already, like Hermann, Brezec, and Johnson, who basically can spell an untimely injury to not Rasheed . . . but Antonio. Although, my faith in Flip's sizing of right players to sub and careful time-outs is, well, nil. But that's another story for anyone else. I prefer brevity on that subject.

Anyway, Amir . . . enough about that guy. Enough about him for a while.

Hmmm. Not convinced yet? Let me put it another way.

Detroit is not a training camp. Minnesota is <--- that way.

This sincere message was brought to you by:

The Eat a Baby Liberation Movement.


[User Picture]From: gjenkins05
2008-01-25 08:24 am (UTC)
I was going to make an argument Milwaukee is like training camp, but Milwaukee is much more like OTA's and summer league ball--defense and participation optional.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-01-25 08:31 am (UTC)
Milwaukee can be pesky, as always, when they hit the jumpers and match that offense with at least an average defensive effort. Until they find a defensive star or two in their regular lineup, it's not going to get much better than sometimes-pesky.
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[User Picture]From: jmack109
2008-01-25 02:17 pm (UTC)
My icon is appropriate.

Maxiell is a stud.

I still have no idea WhoTF Amir Johnson is, I've only heard his name a couple of times.

The Piston's roster is going to look hella different in 2-3 years.

A new coach wouldn't be a bad idea, and is a real possibility should the Pistons hit a rough patch in the regular season.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-01-25 03:47 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't have any problem with Amir if he wasn't the sixth highest paid player, getting as much press as pretty much one of the starters, adored by seemingly every Pistons fan, all the while being real raw in his game, Jason Maxiell rookie-raw, and having to wait his turn behind Jason because the team's loaded with big men at this point.

I just don't wanna hear about that cat anymore. I want to hear more from him, but maybe next year, at a time when maybe Detroit has more room and we're stuck with him.

Or, if he gets more time by injury through someone else, fine.

I'd like to hear more Billups/Hamilton/Prince/Rasheed, especially Rasheed, less Flip, more Maxiell, and equal parts to their other kids and new faces.

I figured when they got rid of Nazr, I'd be happy to not hear about that mistake any more. Instead, I get Your Daily Amir, and it's spread to the local news.

I've got championship hopes on the brain.

I hope for weird things like Detroit vs. New Orleans in the Finals so I can flip a bird to everyone from LA, Boston, and NYC because their teams didn't make it again so they won't watch.

I've got hopes and dreams for Maxiell, a guy who I think is a representative of just what Antonio Gates would have been, had he invested himself in an NBA direction instead of an NFL direction. Sometimes, I actually can see Maxiell doing an end zone dance after a successful red zone completion from a Tony Romo or a Garrard or a Manning.

They reached their Amir quota. Way to be eager, everybody. Don't want it no more. Ain't havin' it. Saturated. More makes me want Amir less.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-01-30 10:33 pm (UTC)

You're gonna continue to hear about him

The clamoring has been for him to be the fourth big man off the bench, rather than Nazr or Brezec. Since his recent stint as the 4th big man off the bench, he's tallied 38 minutes, 6-11 shooting for 13 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, and 6 blocked shots. Now how do you have a problem with that production. Maxiell has worn down. He's admitted as much. It would be better for the whole team if Amir is developed to help take the burden off Maxey. So if Amir keeps producing like this, you'll have to hear about Amir.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-01-30 10:45 pm (UTC)

Quota Reached. You'll Have to Hear About It.

The clamoring bases itself on garbage.

I have a problem with 3.6 million being a scant-minutes quarter-time player that can't earn more because there aren't enough fouls allowed to keep him in the game.

Once he starts producing, the yaps will cease.

This isn't production.

PS - The ELBM was forced to utter that statement because Flip Saunders would rather have 30 Chris Webbers and a 6-man rotation instead of a youth movement. If anyone should be hitting walls, as Chris McCosky parrots, it should be a McDyess.

PPS - Nazr's nazr lazngr oznr rzsztr, plzylazr.

Words for your birds
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-01-30 11:00 pm (UTC)

Re: Quota Reached. You'll Have to Hear About It.

Bases itself on garbage? So his production is garbage? Is that what you're saying?
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-01-30 11:02 pm (UTC)

Re: Quota Reached. You'll Have to Hear About It.

You bet your sweet bippy.


Garbage shot.

Great trade bait.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-01-30 11:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Quota Reached. You'll Have to Hear About It.

Good thing you're not running the Pistons.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-01-30 11:14 pm (UTC)

lolz train, all aboard!

Good thing DetroitBadBoys.com isn't runnin' 'em, either.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-02-01 06:08 am (UTC)

Re: lolz train, all aboard!

4 points, 9 boards, 1 blocked shot in 13 minutes. While he was in there the Pistons built a huge lead which the starters lost. When he got back in during the 4th, we took the lead again.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-02-01 06:12 am (UTC)

Re: lolz train, all aboard!

So where's the equal dap for Stuckey, Afflalo, and Maxiell?

They're a team. Stop on that Amir's the greatest business. It's bunk. He runs afoul too much. Get it?
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-02-01 07:11 am (UTC)

Re: lolz train, all aboard!

Yep, they are a team and if you see my posts in the various message boards, you'd know I hype of Afflalo, Stuckey, and Maxiell as well. Everyone does. This isn't an Amir only love fest, but the guy deserves to play and that's where I take umbrage with your comments. Mix all those guys together and they are making things happen, like they did tonight. Bench one of them, remove one of their contributions, and we lose that game. Got it? By the way, he's a bench player. He should be taking fouls rather than giving up easy layups. If Amir were fouling weakly giving up and-ones, I'd be concerned, but he's getting his fouls covering for teammates or being aggressive on the offensive glass. I'll take those any day.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-02-01 07:48 am (UTC)

I take umbrage with the love parade, so we'll have this messy divorce as long as you keep trying - and as long as it keeps showing up in sickening form in places I happen to read. And I see too much Amir, and that's what this is about, Cali.

I like Amir. However, I don't like any fascination with this kid. Nobody's frigging heard of him outside of this town other than Pistons fans. Get it through your thick skull, Victorville, because he's still got a long way to go - loooong way beyond the goddamn bullshit everyone slobbers about him.

They're promising young kids. 'Promise' - another of my least favorite words.

For Amir, it isn't about snatching balls out of teammates' hands for extra rebounds, coughing up that ball, and following things up with a quick foul on the other end. The eagerness kills almost as much as it rewards him.

I'll be A1A cynical, and that's that. Half empty, chuckles. Capisce?
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-02-01 08:20 am (UTC)
Congratulations, you know the general vicinity of where I live. It says it's logging my IP when I'm posting. Is this supposed to be a big deal?

Promise is your least favorite word but promise is drafting someone without knowing how they'll turn out. It's not promise anymore when someone is making positive contributions to the game. It's not promise when a guy is part of building a 17 point lead. It's no promise when that player is part of turning a seven point deficit in the fourth into a lead. That, my friend, is potential being realized. Amir isn't snatching rebounds out of the hands of teammates, he's pulling them away from opponents. Or should I go dig up video evidence of it? One of those plays is on the play of the week on the Pistons NBA site. It might even interest you to know that I didn't vote for that play, I voted for Chauncey's long three pointer to give us the lead versus Orlando, a game we lost to a last second shot.

It's ain't about Amir love, but it's about giving him his due. They said he needed to do a better job on the defensive rebounds. He's done that. they said he needed to hold his position better, to not get pushed around. He's done that. They talk about his work ethic, about the lengths he'll go to improve. Most NBA players scorn being sent to the D-League. It's an insult to them. Amir requested it to gain experience and work on his game. Detroit isn't the most glamorous of cities, but it's a site better than Sioux Falls, South Dakota yet Amir was willing to go there to improve and you want to mock him.

It's your right. That's fine. You're half-empty, but I'm half-full and I haven't met someone yet who is more stubborn than I am. We can keep this going through the whole season. I'm game. Are you?
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-02-01 06:20 pm (UTC)


Amir isn't snatching rebounds out of the hands of teammates, he's pulling them away from opponents.

I actually saw this happen last night, and he did rip it out of a teammate's hands. When I feel enough to mention it, it's not bullshit.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-02-01 06:37 pm (UTC)


I don't like Flip, but up front, where Amir's going to have to play most often with that lousy shot, there's a lot of players.

It's not a surprise to me that the coach hasn't played Amir more than about 230 minutes this season. Why would it be a gross injustice to you and other people who yap for him? How's that for someone that really doesn't care for Saunders? I defended him, eh?

Giving him due? He's due maybe whatever Brezec and Herrmann get (0 minutes) plus a little time from Maxiell and McDyess (looks like about 10 minutes on average - shouldn't be more than 16). He's got his due.

When he stops fouling, he'll probably get more because he's already better than Darko Milicic was, but that's not saying much now is it?

Amir's fouls, however, they're not all smart fouls as you suggested - plenty of them are not necessary.

Looks like Antonio's logging more minutes than his injury-riddled 33 year old frame should be handling. Hopefully the Pistons coach will have the luxury of having that choice of minutes in the future. I don't want to see Antonio go out for extended time. If Rasheed went out for games, it'd be far worse.

But, and I stress due here, Amir's more than earned his 230-ish minutes. Perspective - seek it.

If you want more for him, as I originally stated in a short but mocking fashion, there are other teams he can log 25-28 minutes on before he fouls out as he learns this game.

Thanks to Amir for his enthusiasm (he's clearly better than Darko right there), but if he doesn't feel like he's getting a fair shake, as you would argue to me, as well as plenty of others, then I'd welcome him a trade to any team in exchange for getting someone and their equivalent 3.6 million-per-year contract. Hopefully, that player would actually be worth more in quality right now.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-02-01 07:38 pm (UTC)

Re: 2

No actually, I think he's getting the right number of minutes now. What I've been clamoring for was for him to get minutes at all. I actually defended Flip myself, though I'm not sold on him as a championship coach. He stated that he called Joey D to play Amir. Alot of people were bashing Flip for playing Brezec instead of Amir which was my main beef. I bashed Flip for that too. I like Brezec's enthusiasm, but I think Amir brings more to the table. After reading the quote by Flip in the press, I got to thinking the decision to play Brezec was made by management in an effort to gauge his trade value. I suspect Flip put that tidbit out in the media to let people know that playing time isn't wholly dependent on what he'd want. He was being a company guy, but trying to cover himself as well.

Amir himself has never complained about playing time. Heck, he could have signed elsewhere if he wanted. There were several teams making bids for his services, but he chose to stay. At the beginning of the year, I thought Nazr deserved the playing time. Amir suffered his badly sprained ankle and that set him back while Nazr was being ultra-professional and was doing well as a roleplayer rather than a starting center. Nazrs contract was bloated, but I don't blame him for how the NBA market values size. It is what it is.

No, I'm not clamoring for more minutes for Amir. I'm just glad he's getting minutes. With his play, I think he's solidified himself as the 4th big man. Now it's time to appreciate his improvement and the improvement of the bench in general. In January, they gave games away, blowing leads the starters had built. Lately, they've gotten back to giving the starters a boost. Stuckey looked alot more comfortable out there. Let's hope he keeps that up. The next step for him is to be comfortable against a high pressure defense like the Celtics bring, like he's likely to see in the playoffs when everyone is playing their hardest. Afflalo is still bringing the tough D and energy. Let's see if he can become a bit more consistent on the offensive end. He might've been able to muscle up shots under the boards in college, but NBA bigs will swat those every time. He has to realize when he can squeeze the layup off and when to work the ball back out. Amir has improvement to make as well. He needs to protect the ball better and he needs to choose his spots better to be aggressive. My whole point in posting here is that's what young players have to go through to play in this league.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-02-01 08:09 pm (UTC)

I honestly don't care that much what he needs to do better.

He should have been doing it already. D-League star = Employee of the Month @ McDonald's. One-hand-clapping.

My beef is with people like you.

I hope his 3.6 million, in part of about 1.6 million, ends up being written off among rational fans as deferred value applied to him in years 2 and 3 of the deal, because he's only earned this much time, and it hasn't been worth the money in year one. His agent even had six teams inquiring about him . . . I almost wish his agent had bargained with one of the other clubs.

The attention he's received has already been too much. He's a long-term project, hopefully.

If he has his Tayshaun moment in the playoffs, then I'll be happy. That's about the time people should be concerned with him as much as they have been.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-02-02 01:59 am (UTC)

Re: I honestly don't care that much what he needs to do better.

And my beef is with people like you. You keep bringing up the money but they pay vets how many millions to set on the 12 seat of the bench and hop in the game to use up their 6 fouls on Shaq. Heck, Aaron McKie, the semi-retired Laker will make a million-plus just to be a throw in for the Gasol trade. Yet here you are whining over a guy with humility and a work ethic, who is finally getting his chance on a veteran laden, championship caliber team. What's more, he's taking that chance and running with it, helping win games we should have lost. You know the thing about Glass-Half-Empty people? You get sick of them. They get annoying because they think they got the world figured out when everyone else just shakes their head at them for being so pathetic. So here's my head shake at you.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-02-02 02:01 am (UTC)

Glad to rub you the wrong way.

Whereas I've been shaking my head at people like you and have been sick of that nonsense for far longer.

You say "to-may-toe," I say "fuck you."
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-02-01 06:46 pm (UTC)


I disagree. It is about Amir-love.

This also appears to be an attempt to "take umbrage" to me.

Every time I see that kid get so much as more than the least amount of notice, or notice separated from the rest of the kids, anywhere, I get that umbrage.

Now you have felt what I feel when I see the yaps. I'm an effective communicator, yes.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-02-02 11:28 am (UTC)

Re: Amir Johnson

Hows Christmas, Easter or whatever?
Do you believe or have joy for anything?
Stop pretending to be some half wit sports writer with an opinion that consists of sour grapes.
Shut the fuck up.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-02-02 07:44 pm (UTC)

Re: You Fools

I don't know about you, but I lol'd.

Maybe he wrote it so you all could get over yourselves.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2008-02-02 08:21 pm (UTC)


Someone gets it!

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