Life's been moving fast enough these days that I almost forgot to write this. What does that tell you about James Johnson's role as of late on these Toronto Raptors? That was a rhetorical question; we know it's not good. But, as a great philosopher has said: life comes at you fast.
Some time soon, Johnson's stat line for the 2015-16 season will be codified in the annals of Basketball Reference and NBA.com/stats. People will say to themselves, hey, what was Johnson doing in 2013 compared to 2016 compared to (presumably) 2020, and the answer will be there. The numbers will tell you what you generally need to know about James Johnson. For better or worse, this will never provide a complete picture.
A little housekeeping: We are going to see the James Johnson Watch through to the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. There will be a real finale in here somewhere. It will not be satisfying. But then, such is life.
Did James Johnson Play?
Ostensibly, the answer is yes. Johnson did get into one game out of three this week for a total just shy of 17 minutes. (If you took the under last week, good on you.) This specific situation says two things. First, Johnson started in the Spurs game that saw the Raptors rest both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Obviously, the team needed live bodies -- as evidenced by Toronto giving healthy minutes to Delon Wright and Jason Thompson. Second, Johnson was invisible in his 16 minutes and 52 seconds. He scored two points (on free throws), grabbed a rebound, and missed all five shots he took.
Whatever Rubicon we've been in the process of crossing with Johnson, it appears we've made it to the other side.
Didn't you read the last section? I got nothing here. Here's a picture of a newborn named Logan James Johnson to distract you.
Welcome Logan James Johnson. April 4, 2016 at 8:16am. pic.twitter.com/osvagJYgcA— Steven Johnson (@TechJohnson) April 4, 2016
Prediction for the Week
The Raptors have five games left on the season, and all of them are set to be played over the next seven days. Tonight, there's a visit to Atlanta, then the Pacers are in town, followed by the grand garbage finale: Knicks, Sixers, Nets, all in a row. You have to figure Johnson maybe will get some time in these games but two main things stand in the way of that.
1) Norman Powell is going to get some serious burn over the season's final week.
2) DeMarre Carroll assures us he'll be back to play in the regular season.
Therefore, all bets are off. (But not really, because that's the point of this entire column.)
Over/Under Minutes: 24.5
Based on the Carroll Effect, let's shoot low for the final week. I have no idea.