The Boston Celtics have signed Chris Johnson to another deserving 10-day contract. The Dayton product has earned his stay in the NBA and is taking advantage of his limited minutes. Johnson has been the lone bright spot for Boston in the last five games.
If there is one thing this kid can do, it is putting the basketball in the hoop. He knows how to score and his confidence is sky high. His offensive tenacity was on display during his time in the D-League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The 23-year old is extremely streaky, but has performed to the best of his ability in the NBA.
In the five games he has played, Johnson has averaged 10.4 points and is shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc (50 percent overall). Not only has he been red-hot with his shooting stroke, but he has made a number of hustle plays. He already has six steals in five games. He’s shown great anticipation and a high-energetic motor.
Johnson has also done a great job on the boards. Offensively and defensively, this kid has grabbed some key rebounds in his performances. Despite recording no more than an assist in each game, he has made some tremendous, unselfish passes that aren’t recorded in the box score.
It may be a testament to how bad the Celtics are when the best player on the team the last few days is a guy called up from the D-League, but this kid may be a hidden gem. Though small for the small forward position at 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, he can score in a variety of ways. He’s a solid catch-and-shoot player and doesn’t hesitate to shoot the rock. At the free throw line, Johnson is extremely efficient. Therefore, he is not afraid to take the ball to the rim and draw a foul.
However, fans shouldn’t get too hyped up about Johnson. He has played tremendous basketball, but we know how these D-League guys operate. They come in and catch fire their first few games, but eventually fall off the face of the earth. Considering it’s a rebuilding a year, it wouldn’t hurt to give him more minutes to see exactly what he can do with serious playing time against good competition.
So far, Johnson has all the tools to be one of those sparks that come off the bench to give energy, hustle and a couple of 3-pointers. I’ve liked what I’ve seen out of Johnson thus far, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s always a good sign to see a young player like Johnson to be this confident about his abilities. We will see how he fares as time goes on, but as of now, he is relishing his opportunity in the NBA.