Memphis Grizzlies Call Up A Known Commodity in James Johnson
In 10 NBA D-League games, James Johnson did exactly what anyone would expect a player with his experience (four seasons as an NBA role player) and athleticism to do. The 6-9, 245-pound forward was simply too much for opponents at this level to handle on both ends of the floor. And his strengths and weaknesses remained the same as they were in the NBA: He wreaked havoc as a defender, averaging 3.4 blocks and 1.9 steals in less than 30 minutes per game, but his ultra-aggressiveness also continued to lead him to large turnover and foul totals.
Yet while Johnson posted huge numbers almost nightly, what stood out most was the way he bought into RGV’s system and seemed to blend in with his teammates seamlessly. He was a vital part of the Vipers’ season-opening nine-game winning streak -- which brought their overall streak to a record 19 games -- and their go-to rim-attacker when the run-and-gun offense stalled. His season shot chart shows just how relentless he was in getting into the paint, producing some spectacular highlights: