Friday, August 27, 2010

2009-10 Player Review: Amir Johnson

Next on the list of players to be reviewed is Amir Johnson:

Johnson has an impressive history of past performance, albeit in relatively limited minutes (last season was the first in which he surpassed 1000 minutes played). Also of note, despite having already played for five seasons in the NBA, Johnson was the last player to be drafted directly out of high school and is only 23 years old. Given that he is so young and has been so productive in the past, I've projected him to have a WP48 of 0.200 next year. With Johnson, though, the question isn't about efficiency or productivity; the question is how many minutes he will play:

As you can see, several aspects of Johnson's game translate rather prominently to these statistics: he is a low-volume, high efficiency player, a poor free-throw shooter, an excellent rebounder, blocker, and possession-getter...and someone who fouls at a ridiculously high rate and has trouble staying on the court. However, if Amir fouls at the same 8.4PF/48min rate next season, he would still be able to play just over 34 minutes a game before he fouls out (if Jay Triano isn't afraid of foul trouble). And 34 minutes/game should be perfectly fine for the Raptors, who will be looking to get rookie Ed Davis some playing time. Playing Davis the remaining 14 minutes/game over the course of 82 games would give the rookie 1148 minutes for the season - enough to see what Davis has to offer.

 - Devin.


  1. a poor free-throw shooter, an excellent rebounder, blocker, and possession-getter.

    Actually you are wrong about his free throw shooting. Historically he has been an average free throw shooter for a big man. He however needs to get minutes and attempts to get into a rhythm to be effective from the foul line


    His senior year in high school 69%
    2006 in the D-League he took 134 FTs in 22 games and shot 75%

    As a starter last season in five games he averaged 2.6 FTs a game and shot 85%

    He is not a great rebounder - Big misnomer about him. He is a better than average offensive rebounder and worse than average defensive rebounder. Overall he is a bit above average for a PF with a career average of 9.9 rebounds per 36 minutes and in fact he has not topped 10 rebounds per 36 minutes since 2007-08.

    His greatest strengths besides shooting efficiency are team defense and scoring. He showed glimpses of his scoring ability last season when he averaged 17.8 ppg in the five games that the started. That was second on the Raptors for those five games to Bargnani's 19.8

    If Johnson can learn how to stay on the court for 30 plus minutes a game he will become a 18 - 8 guy.

  2. Buddahfan:

    Looking at the table above, I can only say that he is a poor free-throw shooter. His last 3 NBA seasons he has shot below the average mark for PFs and even Cs, who shoot worse on average than PFs. His NBA statistics are the most recent and largest sample size. Also note that as his minutes and attempts increase, he is actually getting worse and not improving.

    Again, looking at the table, Johnson can only be describe as a great rebounder. He rebounded better than the average C across all three years. If that isn't enough, take a look at this table: Although being #82 on the list seems a bit distant, note that he is higher on the list than Tim Duncan, who I think most people would call a great rebounder. Remember that Johnson is a PF as well.

    He is not a great scorer. His scoring numbers are below average because he does not attempt many shots. That does not mean he is not good at scoring; it means that when he plays games, he does not score many points. This coming season his role may change and he may become more of a scorer, but based on his past performance it would be severely delusional to call him a scorer.

  3. I explained the situation by real world examples. There are a lot more sources of meaningful information than just the table on this page.

    When he starts he gets to the free throw line more times per game so his rhythm is better. I proved that with the above references. If you want to ignore reality that is up to you.

    Averaging less than 10 rebounds per 36 minutes does not qualify him as great rebounder.

    Over the last 10 seasons there have been 49 NBA players who have played over 3000 minutes during that period and averaged more rebounds per 36 minutes than Amir

    If you look at defensive rebounding rate per 36 minutes over the last 10 seasons Amir gets 5.9 defensive rebounds per 36 minutes he ranks #108.

    Neither of those rebounding rates rank him great. However, if we look at his offensive rebounding rate he ranks 20th. While not great is certainly very good.

    We could look at RB% but I will leave that up to you.

    Amir will never be a great scorer because he is not a chucker. He is very conservative with the shots that he takes. In fact he is the only player in the history of the NBA who has played over 3000 minutes and has career TS% and eFG% of .600 rounded and a WS/48 greater than .150

    He will become 17 - 20 ppg scorer if he can ever manage to stay on the court for 30 mpg plus.

    For more interesting stats on Amir go to my Amir Johnson website NBA 25-15

  4. Ah. Now I see what that's about.

    The chart is derived from his box-score statistics over the past three years and come from It's not ignoring reality - it IS reality.

    The "evidence" you provided to support your statements was stats from his high school, D-league, and 5 (let me stress again: 5!!!) games as a starter last year. You don't define what an "above average rebounder" is and you contradict yourself; Amir goes from a great scorer to someone who will never be a great scorer.

    I've seen some of your "work" over on Raptors Republic, and now this. I won't bother to argue with you anymore, because I realize there's no point. Any comments from you that include manipulation of statistics or plugging your blog will be deleted.