2014 Player Capsule: Wesley Johnson
BY THE NUMBERS:
2 – Players in the NBA to average at least 1.0 three-pointers made, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks: Johnson and Atlanta's Paul Millsap.
36.9 – Career-best percentage of three-point field goals made, up from 32.3 percent in 2012-13.
79 – Games played to lead the Lakers; Johnson missed only two contests (Dec. 31 and March 1) due to respective illnesses.
Entering the year, Johnson had yet to live up to expectations as the No. 4 overall pick in 2010, but it was Mike D’Antoni and the coaching staff’s collective hope that he could develop into a player that could be a game changer on both ends of the floor thanks to his elite athleticism. Johnson showed flashes of that potential throughout the year playing both the three and the four in D’Antoni’s system, while also guarding positions one through four on defense, but he struggled to string together consistent stretches of play. By season’s end, D’Antoni reiterated that Johnson needed to figure out how to bring energy on a constant basis. The Syracuse product did set personal highs across the board in points (9.1), rebounds (4.4), blocks (1.0), steals (1.1), field-goal percentage (42.5) and three-point field goal percentage (36.9), in part due to a career high in minutes (28.2). Johnson’s best month came in February, where he shot the ball exceptionally well (51.1 percent field goals, 50.0 percent on threes), while recording marks of 13.8 points, 5.6 boards, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals. He ended the season on a high note as well with two double-doubles in the last three contests and four double-digit rebounding games, which included a 15-rebound effort vs. Memphis on April 13. Johnson will be a free agent in the offseason – and hopes to return to L.A. – but feels this year was beneficial for him from a personal standpoint, despite a trying Lakers season.
IN HIS WORDS:
“I think I lived up to my own expectations just being able to play like I wanted to – play freely, just go out there and disrupt games like I wanted to, just fly around and be myself. I think that was a relief off my shoulders, just me going out there and playing how I wanted to play.”
by Trevor Wong