Amir Johnson has been one of the most consistent players on the Celtics since late last season. At 29 years old, Amir is playing in his 11th season. He has a career average of 57.4% shooting percentage. This season Amir is averaging 8.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1 BLK, 1 STL, and a career high of 2.4 APG in just 22.4 MPG.
Amir was crucial against Chicago a few nights ago. Where he made 9 of his 11 shots, and was tied for a game high 23 points.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 3, 2016
What Does Amir Thinking About While He is Winding Up for a Three?
He probably has the slowest three point shot in the NBA, but being 6’9″ helps him get his shot off, as well as players not closing out hard on his three point shots. One advantage that a slow release gives a player is time to decide whether or not to pump fake and drive. If he continues to make threes, then defenders may start closing out a little harder. His three point shot is blockable, and that should help him get to the free throw line by initiating contact on the close-out.
Johnson plays a lot bigger than 6’9″ due to his 7’0″ wingspan. His length helps him get his shot off down low, and defend either the center or power forward positions. But, he is small for his position and that does hurt him in the rebounding department. If there was a poll to determine what starter the Celtics would benefit most from upgrading, Amir would likely win.
Johnson does a lot of little things right. He sets quality screens, and is 24th in the league in screens that lead directly to baskets this season. He does a good job using his long arms and the rule of verticality to alter shots down low. Unfortunately for Amir, he also has one of the most trade-able contracts on the Celtics.
The Celtics would likely want to keep Johnson around for as long as they can. But, his contract is expiring and allows the Celtics to match salaries with a potential trade partner. We will find out if Amir stays a Celtic for the whole season down the road, but for now, keep feeding him the ball.