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Old 02-20-2012, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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James Johnson reinventing his jumpshot

Keeping it simple is the key for Johnson on offence according to Casey.

“One dribble and up, two dribbles and up and just not try to do too much,” Casey said.

Johnson is so grateful for Sterner’s help that he’s now calling his shot the Tom Sterner jumper. Having one coach who recognized a real flaw in his game and was able to help him correct it has made Sterner a very big part of Johnson’s season.

Getting a chance to earn the confidence of a head coach is a nice change too.

“For me it was three years in the NBA and four different head coaches,” said Johnson who began his career in Chicago before moving to Toronto after a year and a half.

“I couldn’t earn the confidence of any of the head coaches,” he said. “I just didn’t have enough time. I was on a very short leash in terms of what I would get in the offence. I know my defence will always (keep me in the picture) but I couldn’t control my offensive shot or what I was doing or even what plays would be run for me.”

Johnson’s minutes have been relatively consistent all season but it has just been the past 18 games where he has moved into the starting five (at both the small forward and power forward positions) that has seen Johnson’s offensive game excel.

As a starter, Johnson is averaging 10.1 points a night and shooting at a 45.7% clip. Coming off the bench, which he did early in the year behind Rasual Butler, Johnson was averaging 4.5 points and shooting just 35.7% from the field.

Wednesday’s game with Detroit will mark Johnson’s offical one-year anniversary of the trade that brought him to Toronto. He has made plenty of progress since then and he’s eager for more.

“It has taken a while but I feel like it’s finally clicking,” Johnson said. “I’m finally becoming a threat. I needed that.”


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