Amir Johnson: I’m Playing Hurt

Amir Johnson has spoken about playing hurt while the Raptors try to find answers to their shortage of depth in the frontcourt.

As reported by the Toronto Sun, Amir Johnson has spoken about how injuries have been hampering him of late:

“Just with the injuries we have, it was a tough month of January and especially for me,” Johnson said initially only hinting at the severity of his injury. “Guarding their bigs we just have to do a better job.”

Johnson admitted he’s not only playing with just another injury, he’s playing with one that prevents him from doing the sort of things he needs to do to be effective.

“Just certain movements on the floor,” he said. “I feel like I can make a move and then I can’t just because I’m babying it. Just little stuff like being able to box out a defender and go grab the ball and do other stuff. That nagging pain is just bothering me.”

If you’ve seen him play in the last month this is pretty obvious, as pointed out numerous times on this site. Historically, Amir has always suffered through minor niggles when asked to play out of his position against bigger players who he regular gives up 20-40 pounds against. This year is no different as he’s switching over to the center role quite frequently due to Jonas Valanciunas’s defensive inconsistencies combined with the Raptors lack of depth at the position (Austin Daye is next).

The injury to Tyler Hansbrough didn’t help Johnson’s cause, but Dwane Casey has made an effort to monitor Johnson’s minutes in face of injury by using Patterson as a stretch four. Johnson averaged 31.2 and 28.2 minutes in December and January, respectively, but has seen playing time drop to 21.9 minutes in February.

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