While JV is not a finished product, his post game is any thing but raw.
I still believe that Johnson is best suited as the team's backup PF / 3rd big, allowing him to sigificantly improve the team's 2nd unit and thrive against the opposition's backups.
I think players like Millsap, Gasol and Boozer could all potentially fit with the starting lineup better than Johnson, because they're all more polished offensively. I also think they'd be able to fit well next to Valanciunas. Each of them and JV are capable of both posting-up down low or playing in the high-post, where they can run the P&R and hit a short jumper. With JV and the new starting PF both being able to play in the high or low post, with the PF drawing double-teams far more than Johnson does, I think it would do wonders for the Raptors' offensive gameplanning. An upgraded starting PF gives them many more options to run plays through them, will help facilitate better ball movement, will open up driving lanes (for both penetration and drive-and-kicks for open 3pt shots) and would likely result in a guy like Fields to get open for easy looks (defenses will lose him, especially as a result of double-teams and rotating to cover better ball movement).
Johnson doesn't draw double-teams and tends to drift outside too often. Yes his mid-range shot has improved, but that's really not needed in a starting lineup that is already too in love with long jumpers. Even with him being moved into the 2nd unit, he'll still get lots of playing time as the team's 3rd big, capable of playing C & PF in a 3-big rotation. The team would still have Gray (for matchups against true C's) and Acy (small ball lineups with Johnson at C) as 4th/5th big, though neither would likely play more than spot minutes.
Of course, it would likely cost the Raptors DeRozan to acquire Millsap (and possibly Gasol). Boozer could potentially be had for the cheapest cost, but he's personally my last choice from those 3 (due primarily to contract amount and length).
There's no reason to change the starting lineup. For spacing, Amir is comfortable out to mid-range which gives JV space. Do the Raps need to improve their bench? Yes. But IF they move Amir to the bench to improve it, they need to insure that the starting pf doesn't affect floor spacing.
This team is desperate for a real backup pg, and a solid post player (both could be bench guys). A perfect example would be Scola, but I don't see how they can get him.
No need to change the starting lineup. Players need to show up in shape... All these wins have been against playoff teams. Maybe 1 or 2 could be considered a fluke, but not 5 of 6. That appears to be more trend than fluke.
If they played this well when games mattered and when everyone was healthy then it's not a fluke in my opinion. But wins at the end of the season against teams with their best players are sitting out is not a "real" win in my opinion. Especially when the wins don't matter as much for either team.
When Johnson plays outside, he does nothing to help Valanciunas or the others. The opposing defense is happy to let the chuckers settle for long shots, while Valanciunas is often left fighting 1-on-5 for offensive rebounds.
The main reason I want a new starting PF is to force the defenses to deal with 2 inside players, one of which (the new PF) draws consistent double-teams. This will create more lanes for dribble-penetration, either to finish at the rim (score and/or get fouled) or to draw-and-kick to open players on the perimeter. The latter will result in either an open 3pt shot or the start of ball movement around the perimeter that forces the defense to switch and cover, ideally resulting in an open high % look.
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