Amir Johnson's Time Has Finally Arrived

Amir Johnson had played about ten NBA games when the Pistons made a sizable investment in his future. Joe Dumars proclaimed him the future. Then, Flip Saunders made excuses for never playing him. But now Flip's gone, and with Rodney Stuckey pointing the way toward a Detroit team beyond Billups/Rip/Sheed, it's only natural that Amir would get his shot as a starter (despite having never started a game during his whole time with the Pistons). According to The Detroit News, Coach Michael Curry says the time is now: ↵
↵⇥"Amir does things without having to have the ball," Curry said. "He's able to pick up baskets through his activity, by running the floor and playing off the other four guys. He does all the intangible things, and through that he's able to create offensive opportunities for himself." ↵⇥
↵⇥
↵⇥[...] ↵⇥
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↵⇥"I am glad I got the opportunity," Johnson said. "It's been a long time coming. I've been sitting on that bench for three years. I am ready to play." ↵
↵He'll dislodge Antonio McDyess, a team player getting on in the years who doubtlessly recognizes Amir's ungodly potential. Heck, Dice probably sees some of his pre-surgery self in Johnson, and can give him some tips on how to be more than just an athlete. Not that the 6'11" pogo stick, aged 21 and yet to start an NBA game, needs advice on how to make himself useful beyond mere highlights. Unlike, say, Tyrus Thomas, Johnson is a fast learner, cares about getting better, and has earned the John Hollinger stamp of approval. It's not unreasonable to expect him to average a double-double, on 60% shooting percentage with 2-3 blocks per game. ↵
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↵For those of you who believe in ghosts, think of Amir -- taken 56th overall in the 2005 draft, a mere afterthought -- as karmic payback for the Darko fiasco.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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