For the first half of the season Jody called Wes a game changer and someone that we could afford to bring back, one of the few he actually felt that way about. But his 2nd half of the season inconsistency understandably is where Jody brings his current opinion from.
The first half of the season Wes was playing at maximum confidence and doing precisely what he was supposed to do, cut to the basket and take threes and play defense, and the chemistry he'd formed with Blake was a big part of that as he would actively cut to the basket for the incoming lob.
The 2nd half of the season was a different story where he was played at both the 3 and the 4, and the point guard situation had changed and then by the time he'd developed chemistry with Marshall, D'antoni started Farmar, and then Blake was gone, and we saw Wes settle for the mid range jumper and have the ball in his hands to create something more often than he should.
But when Wes had his role secure in the beginning of the season, cutting to the basket and shooting threes he looked very good, and he played solid defense as well. Not Tony Allen level, but he wasn't terrible either and averaged a steal and a block a game despite his 2nd half of the season diminish
So Wes is a fine piece to have and he fits his role within the offense and is likely to benefit from the Princeton because of it's role for him within it as long as it's based around his cutting and threes more so than setting him up for mid range jumpers. I'm not worried about Wes fitting in.
In fact let's not forget, he had a strong start and he had a horrible December, but he started to turn it back around in January, and in February he got to play starter 'minutes' he played 35 mins a game in February and he had his best month, he put up 13.8 points 5.6 rebounds 1.5 blocks per game and 1 steal a game on 51% shooting and 50% from three. That entire February is the kind of Wes Johnson you want to see for the majority of a season and his role seemed very secure and where it needed to be.
Then... first game of March. He's started at Power Forward against the Portland Trailblazers, Wes at this point at maximum confidence and playing actually finds a way to have a good game, wears Aldridge out by beating him down the court each time and put up 14 points 7 rebounds 4 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals while also making the game sealing alley oop out of bounds play. However it didn't take him long to be worn out by having to defend 4s every night and the rest of march was an inconsistent struggle for him and his minutes dropped to 24 mpg.
Then in April his role was placed back at the 3, but his role was also changed in terms of responsibilities he got the ball more in isolation situations, situations Wesley Johnson should never EVER EVER be given the ball for. He found himself taking more mid range shots and cutting to the basket less. It hit it's pinnacle in Dallas when he shot the ball 13 times, making 3 and only shot 2 three pointers the entire game.
So April was a microcosm of where you should use Wes Johnson and where you shouldn't. He averaged 10/9 as the 3rd or 4th most important option, but he was taking 10+ shots a game and shot 37% from the field because of all the long mid range jumpers he was now taking in the offense, which is a shame because he wound up shooting 42% from three that month as well and would have been a LOT more efficient if he wasn't taking so many mid range shots to settle for, both James and Byron touched on this.
By now it should be apparent to everyone if you want to maximize Wesley Johnson..
Have his role in the offense be three pointers and cutting to the basket and finishing at the rim.
Have him isolate, or draw up plays for him to shoot mid range jumpers
NBA "DO" Usage Comparison: Gerald Green in PHX
NBA "DON'T" Usage Comparison: Michael Beasley in PHX
It's pretty simple. I think and hope Byron understands that.
Edited by Majesty, September 17, 2014 - 04:47 PM.