I was at the Celtics game last night, which was every bit as bad as it appeared, particularly the first half. Anyway, some guy claiming to be James Johnson entered the game to start the second quarter, and looked atrocious. He was barely moving on offense, and his shooting was as dismal as ever, highlighted (?) by a missed dunk. His defence was OK, but when his ridiculously casual one-handed pass was intercepted, Coach Casey had seen enough. JJ never stepped on the floor again.
What is going on here? Last week, JJ was benched for 2 games, because of an "internal matter", whatever that means. This guy was looking like one of the very few positive things to emerge this trying season, but instead he's regressed shockingly. Last night, all he needed was a neon sign over his head flashing "Trade me".
Coach has to wear some of this mess. It's his job to get the best out of his players, and whatever he's doing with JJ isn't working. That said, JJ is being a knucklehead, and if he can't get himself out of his funk, he should be tossed aside in the offseason.
Let's not get too out of joint here. JJ is not a starter-class player, and never will be. His shooting stinks, and he's 25, which means it's probably too late for him to find a reliable jumper. But he's a high-quality defender, and if we ever find ourselves in the playoffs, a guy who can shut down the opponents' wings and grab some boards is valuable.
Guys, can anybody provide some insight? And do you think JJ will somehow return to the cheap "find" he was earlier this season?