As Los Angeles Lakers starting small forward Wesley Johnson drained three after three Friday night against the Detroit Pistons there were plenty of spectators looking on wondering just who this talented young man was. He ended up achieving a career high six three pointers made, missing only one attempt, on his way to a total stat line of 27 points, six rebounds, two assists and three blocks. It’s performances like these that have the Lakers over a .500 record at 9-8 with both Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash on the bench recovering from injury.
Johnson is a former lottery pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves at the No. 4 overall spot of the 2010 NBA draft out of Syracuse and since then he’s mostly been forgotten about. He scored a career-high 29 points in a game with the Timberwolves in 2011 against his current team the Lakers and has since spent some time with the Phoenix Suns until his recent tenure with the Lakers began last July 15. He has been starting for the Lakers at Small forward and is averaging 24 minutes a game yet has been a roller coaster of production with those minutes. It’s nights like the one against the Pistons that Johnson has always been capable of but have rarely been seen.
If coach Mike D’Antoni has managed to turn over a new leaf with Johnson and help him elevate his game to a new level, it will be of great assistance to the Lakers for years to come as he is still only 26 years old. Bryant’s return soon from injury will surely also help Johnson’s game along both physically and mentally. For now though, it’s yet to be seen as he will need to develop some more consistency in his game.
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