Who would win a Raptors-only track-and-field day? How good is Amir Johnson’s Celine Dion impression? When was the last time Dwane Casey cried at the movies? Every day until the season starts, we throw a Raptor in front of a green screen and ask him the tough questions. Today, Amir Johnson’s heart will go on.
Know Your Raptors: Lou Williams | Kyle Lowry | Bruno Caboclo | Chuck Hayes | Jonas Valanciunas | Amir Johnson | Tyler Hansbrough | Landry Fields | Terrence Ross | James Johnson | Patrick Patterson | Lucas Nogueira | DeMar DeRozan | Greivis Vasquez | Dwane Casey
After nearly a decade in the NBA, Amir Johnson has pretty clearly established his strengths and weaknesses as a player. He’s an elite finisher at the rim and an excellent defender, particularly adept in pick-and-roll situations on both sides of the ball. He’s also a fairly questionable outside shooter.
Johnson knows all this about himself, which is why he took 66 three-pointers last season—more than five times his next-highest single-season total.
A player demonstrating awareness of his weak outside shooting by quintupling his attempts from downtown may not seem to make sense at first, but Johnson’s spike in three-point attempts came alongside a 10.71-percent drop in his mid-range looks. If a bad deep shooter is going to take a deep shot, it follows that it’s better for that shot to be worth three points than two. Plus, Johnson still took 69.61 percent of his shots within eight feet of the rim, his highest concentration since 2010-11.
Johnson suited up for 77 games last season (the fifth-most of any Raptor), but played hurt through much of the season and the playoffs. So this summer, he took on a weakness far harder to address than an inconsistent deep stroke, putting in time at P3, a training facility in California, “learning how to reduce the chances of rolling his ankle.”
By now, the Raptors and their fans know what to expect from Amir Johnson. But what might he accomplish in a contract year if he isn’t forced to play on one leg?
2013–14 Stats: 10.4 Pts/G, 6.6 Reb/G, 1.5 Ast/G, 1.1 Blk/G, 56.2 FG%, 28.8 Min/G