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Thread: Just Stumbled on Johnson's High School Numbers

  1. #1
    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    Default Just Stumbled on Johnson's High School Numbers

    There are three things that stand out

    1. In his senior year he averaged 8.5 blocks per game. So he averaged almost a triple double in his senior year at Westchester High.

    2. His FG% in his senior year was 80% which shows that he did take some actually shots during his senior year. Probably not too many but a handful or so anyway.

    2. He only had 2 years of high school ball. He was academically ineligible the other 2 years.

    So here is a guy that before this year his total organized post grade school experience consisted of 2 years of high school and about 2,000 NBA minutes.

    Given that and given the improvement in his game that was evident after the all star break this season it seems to me that is upside still remains pretty darn high.

    http://www.thedraftreview.com/index....sk=view&id=648
    Last edited by Buddahfan; Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 10:13 AM.

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    Of course his upside is high; the kid is still 22 years old! I'm not sure what the high school stats are telling us though... they don't really mean much.

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    ... Guys, high school number give you no good way to guage the potential of a guy five or more years out of high school. Go check out the high school stats of all the former high school players who bypassed college for the NBA only to wash out. Go look at the guys who were lucky enough to stick but are busts. High school stats are worthless for a guy this far out.

    Dajuan Wagner scored 100 points in a single game in high school. How's his NBA career going?

  4. #4
    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    However, Johnson was also Mr. Basketball in CA.

    How many other high players that you know of can claim to have been declared the best player in CA with only two years of high school experience? What this means is that his raw talent level is enormous and we are only starting to see the tip of the iceberg on it.

    Others with huge raw talent have failed but none of those failures that I know of have worked as hard as Johnson or is as well liked by his coaches and teammates as he is. Most of them failed because they had a significant injury or they were head cases and/or had off court problems. That so far has not been the case with Johnson.

    Besides 100 points in one game can't compare to averaging 50 points a game for an entire season.

    The two stats that were significant there were his blocks and FT%

    His ability to block shots and change the direction on shots in the NBA is clearly evident.

    The other stat that stood out was his FT% which as I recall came in at 65% which is pretty good for big man in high school that probably never took a field goal shot from more than 5 feet from the basket. So 75% for him is definitely achievable in this area and in fact his free throw percentage this season after the all-star break was in fact 76%.

    His lack of experience has most certainly contributed to his foul rate which is going down noticeably since he has started to gain more experience. It doesn't mean that he still doesn't foul too much and doesn't have awful games in that regard but the trend is favorable and his post grade school experience in organized ball is still very limited.

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    It's high school stats. There are a bunch of guys who had better high school "careers" that washed out of the NBA or didn't even make it. It's high school. It happened like five years ago. What is "potential" really? Its all about perception and can't be quantified. If we were going to try, high school stats wouldn't be the source data. That's like predicting the stock market based on trends from the 60's... What does it prove? You have a large amount of new, more accurate data at your disposal. Why go back there other than to prove a stance and potentially not reality? The reality is that he's been in the league for like five years, has been with three different teams and hasn't been able land a big role to date. That and his performance in present time tells me his potential is a valuable rotation guy.

    Quote Buddahfan wrote: View Post
    Besides 100 points in one game can't compare to averaging 50 points a game for an entire season.
    Wagner had a phenomenal career at Camden High School and is perhaps better remembered for scoring 100 points in a high school game than his exploits at the collegiate and professional levels. He averaged 42.5 points as a senior, scored 3,462 points in high school (the most in New Jersey high school history, breaking former high school star Lorne Singleton's scoring record of 3,451 points) and scored 25 points in the McDonald's All-American Game
    Wikipedia
    Last edited by Apollo; Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 11:02 AM.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    I would like to point out one other thing in reference to how the lack of experience and coaching have really slowed down the growth of his NBA game

    For some reason the Pistons never coached him. Stuckey and Afflalo both said so at least according to one of the Pistons beat writers. It was also pretty evident in the basic mistakes that he would make on offense and defense.

    In the same vein Dave Cowens who was an assistant Pistons coach in 2008-09 said before the 2008-09 season and I am paraphrasing.

    "Amir has skills that are not coachable and lacks skills that are"

    Well the Raptors acquired Johnson and decided to start coaching him. For the first time in his basketball life he has started to receive serious coaching on improving his game. I think that we all started to see the results of that effort after the all-star break especially in the 5 games that he started.

    It seems to me that it still be only the very beginning of what he can become as an NBA player. Only time will tell. There are many variables that derail a player from achieving their ultimate potential so we shall see what happens going forward.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    Quote Apollo wrote: View Post
    ... Guys, high school number give you no good way to guage the potential of a guy five or more years out of high school. Go check out the high school stats of all the former high school players who bypassed college for the NBA only to wash out. Go look at the guys who were lucky enough to stick but are busts. High school stats are worthless for a guy this far out.

    Dajuan Wagner scored 100 points in a single game in high school. How's his NBA career going?
    Former Camden High School basketball star Dajuan Wagner, who has battled illness and injury in his NBA career
    http://www.cavsnews.com/20070912-763.php

    If Johnson should be so unfortunate like Wagner to battle injury and illness that negatively affect his career then we might have a valid comparison.

    Like I wrote above injuries and off/court problems do negatively affect a player from achieving their potential. That was clearly the case with Wagner and has so far not been the case with Johnson.

    I don't believe that your comparison is valid in trying to say that if Wagner didn't live up to his expectations than Johnson won't. In addition Wagner went to college and played ball for Memphis where he averaged over 20 ppg. So his game was unfortunately negatively impacted by his physical ailments like S. Livingston.

    Keep your head on straight and try and avoid serious injuries.
    Last edited by Buddahfan; Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 11:17 AM.

  8. #8
    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Quote Buddahfan wrote: View Post
    In the same vein Dave Cowens who was an assistant Pistons coach in 2008-09 said before the 2008-09 season and I am paraphrasing.

    "Amir has skills that are not coachable and lacks skills that are"
    I would interpret that as the coach calling him "raw" in nice terms. That to me does not imply he's not been coached. It implies he has weaknesses which can be fixed through coaching.

    Quote Buddahfan wrote: View Post
    If Johnson should be so unfortunate like Wagner to battle injury and illness that negatively affect his career then we might have a valid comparison.
    Wagner was a disappointment before he all that. If you don't like that one then how about C.J Miles, Leon Smith, Sebastian Telfair and Kwame Brown?

    If you were hiring an engineer who has worked for multiple companies and has five years of experience in the field would you gauge their potential to grow into a great professional in the company based on the work they did in their profession or would you gauge their potential on their high school shop class grades?
    Last edited by Apollo; Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:17 PM. Reason: Merged my posts

  9. #9
    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    Johnson was not coached.

    Stuckey and Afflalo said so in no uncertain terms on one of their road trips. The writer over head it and wrote the story.

    All the evidence to date backs that up.

    Kwame Brown has small hands. He can't catch and he can't hold the ball which negatively affects his ability to be a good shooter, a scorer and rebounder. If he had normal sized hands and what are called soft hands he would have been a 20 - 10 guy without a doubt. He is big athletic has pretty good foot speed and pretty good foot work on offense. His problem is his hands. "Bad hands man, bad hands" Small, bad hands are not coachable.

    I am not going to go through and research why some players don't live up to their expectations.

    You have your opinion on Johnson's upside and I have mine. In the end we shall see who is correct.

    That is one of the things about being a fan. It is always fun to discuss sports with those that have differences of opinion about players, coaches, GMs teams, etc etc. I have even gotten into discussions with people over a team's trainer and whether he should have been fired or not.

    All fun stuff. I do by the way think that Johnson will sign with the Raptors. Tops $15 million for 3 years with the 3rd year player option.

    We shall see.
    Last edited by Buddahfan; Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:46 PM.

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