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Thread: The Amir Johnson Problem

  1. #1
    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    Default The Amir Johnson Problem

    The Amir Johnson Problem

    What exactly is the Amir Johnson problem?

    Let me begin by saying what it is not. It is not lack of athleticism or natural basketball physical skills

    So what then is the Amir Johnson problem?

    I have followed his career since he was drafted. Over the last few years I have also done some research on his high school days.

    Unfortunately the conclusion that I have come to is that Johnson is mentally challenged.

    This translates on the basketball court into having a low basketball IQ. This it seems to me is the main cause of his foul problem. We all know that he commits too many "dumb" or "stupid" fouls. Players with a high basketball IQ do not do this. He also has trouble understanding what he can do on defense and what he can't do on defense. Not being able to learn this also contributes to his high foul problem.

    It is his mental limitations that have and will probably always greatly limit his career.

    Triano has already pulled Johnson out of at least one game since he has been with the Raptors for forgetting a play. This also happened on a number of occasions while Johnson played for the Pistons.

    We can go back even farther to his high school days and his attempt to get a NCAA basketball scholarship to find even more evidence of his Johnson being mentally challenged.

    I have thought a bit about why Johnson did not get a chance to start in pre-season even from game one. During the first week of this season's pre-season camp Triano said that some of his players were having trouble grasping the Raptors new plays on offense. It didn't initially occur to me that Triano might have been referring to Johnson when Triano said this. Then I read an article where B. Scott decided to remove Hickson from the Cavs starting lineup because "he was not grasping the Princeton offense that Scott was installing. It then occurred to me that that is probably what happened with Johnson especially considering how well he played last April.

    I just think that he was not learning the new plays so Triano put Evans in the starting lineup. Initially I objected to this but after some thought I understand why Triano did this and it seems like the best choice given Johnson's inability to learn the offense.

    Johnson's inability to learn the new offense has put him back to being a garbage player.

    Then after the sixth pre-season game Triano came out and said that he doesn't care if his players foul out as long as they don't give up unchallenged layups. So what does Johnson do in the seventh game vs Chicago. He fouls out in about fifteen minutes. Then in game eight he committed three quick fouls in the first half and wound up playing the fewest minutes of any pre-season game. It seems to me that he took Triano literally which again is more evidence of being mentally challenged.

    It seems to me that Johnson may also be having some trouble trying to grasp the changes that Triano and Calesimo have installed on defense.

    I do believe that Johnson will eventually grasp what Triano is now doing on offense and defense and will probably wind up playing much better as the season goes along. How good this will be only time will tell.

    In the end it saddens me to have come to this conclusion. However, given all that I have seen and know about him as a basketball player it seems to me to be the most logical explanation of why he has never achieved the success in the NBA that was expected of him after his excellent showing in the D-league during his rookie and sophomore seasons with the Pistons. This limitation is also why I think he will probably never achieve the success in the NBA that one would expect based upon is natural basketball related athletic abilities.
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  2. #2
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    Hmm.

    I have just one issue with this post, which is that by saying 'mentally challenged', it tends to suggest he's dumb. As anyone knows who has played basketball, smart people can be 'mentally challenged' when it comes to basketball. That is, making bad decisions and forgetting plays can result from a lot of things, and it can be very difficult to think clearly and quickly under stress even for otherwise smart people.

    So I think it is an interesting suggestion that Amir's issue, such at it is, may be with the mental aspects of the game. It's speculative, but it's interesting, and seems moderately plausible to me. But by employing the term 'mentally challenged' the OP seems to (and I apologise if I'm wrong about this) suggest that the problem is that Amir doesn't have much going on upstairs period, and I don't think there's any reason to draw that conclusion.

    Just as a relevant aside, wasn't it Amir who, at one point last season, basically won a game for the raptors by faking like he was going to challenge a last second layup and then pulling the rug so that the point guard (I can't remember who... I think it was Arenas or Rose, maybe) missed their layup because they were expecting contact? If I haven't got that confused, that was a pretty smart play, no?

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    have to agree with malefax - "mentally challenged" may be a little over the top my man. I have coached tons of players who were smart (book smart), but basketball dumb. "Mentally challenged" invokes images of Amir having to ask Calderon to tie his sneakers.

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    and now we are paying him 7 million for next 4 years !!!
    Based on ur new conclusion Buddah, isn't this an over pay ?

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    Quote Raptor4Ever wrote: View Post
    and now we are paying him 7 million for next 4 years !!!
    Based on ur new conclusion Buddah, isn't this an over pay ?
    His final year is $9M

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Brain Colangelo's Avatar
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    Here's hoping Amir acquires a better understanding of the game in short order... Still, because Amir can be a very, very effective bench player based on energy, hustle and his tools, there's hope for him yet. I think he's one of the few Raps who could step in immediatley and be a valued contributer in his current role with a contender.

    Also, a lot of this may be balanced by Ed "G32" Davis, who is by all account a very high bball IQ player who also possesses many of the same strengths as Amir.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie pistol pete's Avatar
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    Not only I think Amir might be somewhat dumb, but I also think that he isn't the only one in this team...

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    Hopefully, we did not just pay him that much money to be a 3rd stringer behind Davis and Evans, both of whom I believe have above average defensive basketball IQs. With Reggie's recent play, it will be hard to keep him on the bench. But that should be a good thing when trade opportunities roll in.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star grindhouse's Avatar
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    I think having a complete understanding of the offense is what is hurting wright, Amir, weems and alabi. They will learn tho.

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    Quote Raptor4Ever wrote: View Post
    and now we are paying him 7 million for next 4 years !!!
    Based on ur new conclusion Buddah, isn't this an over pay ?

    Amir might not be grasping the X's and O's on the court, but he was smart/lucky enough to find himself an agent that took advantage of BC's desperation in the off-season and landed him a contract beyond his actual worth. ($34 mil/5 yrs)

    But then again, he did admit on twitter afterwards that he was in shock. He only expected $25 million. It's not his fault and you can't blame him for taking the money. I believe all of us would've taken that offer even if we knew we weren't worth it. Except a smart man would've quietly taken the money and walked away and not make his GM who is already losing credibility look more like an irrational dumbass.

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    Raptors Republic Rookie brakeman1's Avatar
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    Wow a detective and a shrink, where do you find the time?

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    Wait, so we went from Amir being better than Amare to... mentally challenged? All this based on a pre-season?

    Amir's niche has changed. Where he was once required to come off the bench to spell one of Bosh or Bargnani, he is now entering a situation where he has to contribute more and differently.

    By changing his role, we need to wait for Amir to adapt. And no, I don't think a single training camp with meaningless preseason games is enough time.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Bendit's Avatar
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    It strikes me that somewhere there is a correlation between booksmarts, streetsmarts and basketball smarts. As I see it "basketball smarts" is just a way of melding one's athletic and sensory (position recognition) abilities alongwith booksmarts (plays). To date I have seen/heard nothing which makes Amir either not book or street smart (he got a $30 mill contract, hangs at the Playboy mansion, speaks adequately and seems to be a good teammate). I only hope he is investing his money wisely. That he is athletic is not a question. We are therefore left with the sensory traits and his inability to position himself properly before slapping at the ball etc. This does not equate some form of dumb in my view. He just needs to "slow down" on defense when close to his check. If Amir is "dumb" what does Bargnani's defensive play signify about his grey matter?

    Buddah, you didnt seriously think his penchant for fouling was suddenly going to end with the big contract...do you?

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    Raptors Republic Starter blaze89's Avatar
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    i wouldnt consider him mentally challenged at all, i think he was simply overhyped his whole career. he has never come close to being a constant threat in the nba in 5 years and only started seeing actualy playing time with the raptors LAST year.
    like i dont know what everybody was expecting from a second round pick because i think hes turned out into exactly what people saw him as: a player with tons of potential but strapped with a lot of baggage (ie bad decisions, retarded fouls, falling asleep on plays etc). the problem is everybody thinks potential is going to result in sucess but everybody who makes it to the NBA has "POTENTIAL" so give the guy a break hes just being the player that he always was.

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    not a problem as long as you dont overpay a guy like that.....which is why i had a problem with giving him that much money cuz essentially he's a garbage man off the bench...you dont over pay for those types of players.....you dont run plays for him...his defensive is questionable,he does take alot of stupid ass fouls and is really only a guy who can excel in spot mins......so again its not a problem but you just dont overpay for a guy like that,and of course our GM did which makes me think its more of The Bryan Colangelo Problem.....

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Brain Colangelo's Avatar
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    Quote Buddahfan wrote: View Post
    The Amir Johnson Problem

    What exactly is the Amir Johnson problem?
    Can I suggest that the Amir Johnson problem was the rigid adherence to statistics, failure to consider the quality of his opposition as a second team player and a blind-faith assumption that he'd get better...

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    Default The coaching staff is "Mentally Challenged"

    you dont use a Bazooka as a sniper rife, then complain about its acuracy. they need to put him in better positions to succeed.

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    Read my blog, The Picket Fence. Guaranteed to make you think or your money back!
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    Default Amir's Contract

    .
    Need to get the facts straight. Amir does not make 7 million this year, nor 9 million at the end. 30 million is the total, with the final year being a team option as far as I've heard.
    .

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?...#ixzz0vjmzKeSZ

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    Raptors Republic Starter Prime's Avatar
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    If the biggest Amir fanboy is starting to get down on him, I don't think there's much hope for Amir at all.

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