Blog Entry

James Johnson

Posted on: January 8, 2010 10:08 am

Can some one please tell me why this guy is playing?
I know that you want to play your younger players so they can gain experience, but that is what garbage time is for. Yes I know the Bulls have not had very little to no garbage time this year, but I mean come on.
Johnson has not had any real production in any of his playing time, he has more turnovers then points. When a team is trying to win a game, you go with your best players, not a rookie that is not even ready to play at this level. He really should have stayed in school another year.
When I do get a chance to watch or listen to the games, I cringe every time that he is in the game, and close my eyes when he has the ball, cause I know it will either be a turnover or he'll put up a bad shot.
I'm all for giving younger kids a chance to develop, but it comes to a point when you just have to realize that something or someone is doing more harm then good. Now that I can blame on Vinnie, but at the same time when a player does get a chance to play, you are supposed to make the best of it, so you look good and get more time. By Vinnie putting him in when he does, it does no good for the team or James. It also takes away from the production of other players such as Tyrus Thomas, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah, and even Brad Miller.
If this team wants to win then the coaching staff is going have to realize when its good to put in an under achiever. You win by playing your best and better players. When the team is up or down by 5 that is no time to put in James Johnson. Once again that is the fault of the coaching staff not necessarily the player. But it is the players fault for not trying harder in the game or practice.
As you may have noticed I am not a big fan of Johnson's, and that’s not his fault. I really do think that his time in close games should be going to some one that can really help this team win (see names above).
If Johnson wants to become an elite player in this league then he needs to put in more time before and after practice. When he gets in the games do some thing that benefits his team instead, of turning the ball over and helping the other team. James has a long way to go before he can be the player that the Bulls want him to be. In the mean time it does not mean that you keep playing him until he gets it (that’s what practice is for).
Now don’t get me wrong I'm not saying that he will not be a good or even great player some time in the NBA. What I am saying is that he is not ready as of yet, and the Bulls are suffering from another draft mistake.


Since: May 22, 2008
Posted on: January 9, 2010 10:12 am

James Johnson

VDN, Gar Foreman, & Paxson have done a decent job in the draft and acquiring talented players.  My problem is how they are developing that talent.  Most Bulls fans thought Noah was going to be a bust but when he was finally given his shot at major PT he showed his heart.  He was a winner at Florida and will be a winner in the NBA with his hustle, determination, and basketball acumen.

I feel strongly that Tyrus Thomas will be a star in the NBA eventually.  He only played 1 year at LSU and posesses mad skills.  I would be playing Tyrus 30-35 minutes minimum every night and let him grow into the stud player many think he will become.  Those skills need to be honed and given sufficient opportunity to show themselves.  It appears to me and most NBA fans that he is ready to break out - so why is VDN playing him 15 minutes a night?  There is no way Brad Miller should be getting more minutes at the 4 - I know they play Noah at the 4 and Miller at the 5 when they are on the court together but it's Miller who is takining PT from Tyrus.

Tyrus & Gibson can play the 4 and 5 if Noah gets in foul trouble.  I know this is a somewhat smaller lineup but VDN likes to go small regularly.  Miller is the player who should be getting 10-15 minutes a night - not Tyrus.

VDN has settled on a 9 man rotation but how he distributes the minutes is the real problem.  If I'm advising VDN I would suggest the following, go to a 10 man rotation and:

Starting 5 with target minutes they should be playing:

PG - Rose - 35-40 minutes - don't abuse his minutes - don't want him hurt or tired
SG - Hinrich - 20-25 minutes - depends on his shot that night - if not going down - less minutes
SF - Deng - 25-30 minutes - similar to Hinrich - plays if hot, sits if not
PF - Thomas - 35-40 minutes - need his shot blocking on the floor and needs to grow his game
C - Noah - 35-40 minutes - need his hustle & rebounding


PG - Pargo - 10-15 minutes - can swing to SG with Hinrich at PG as well - instant offense
SG - Salmons - 20-25 mintues - can swing to SF when going small - run more plays for him
SF - Johnson - 15-20 minutes - can play either SF or PF - run plays for him
PF - Gibson - 10-15 minutes - can play C when going small
C - Miller - 10-15 minutes - limit his minutes and see if his production goes up

Since: Aug 3, 2009
Posted on: January 8, 2010 2:05 pm

James Johnson

I can see were you are coming from on this. But it is as VDN has said about Tyrus Thomas playing time and returning him to the starting line up. He has to make the most of his time when he is in the game. VDN dose have a history of not playing players if they seem to be having a bad game. My problem is this yeah he is not getting a lot of playing time, but neither is Thomas. Now the difference is this Johnson IMO has not earned that extra playing time. As far as being a back up for Luol Deng that’s a good point, but at this time that is all that James is good for is giving Deng a break. Now if he comes out and shows what he can do in that time, I will retract every thing I have said about him.
Point blank in the VDN system if you do not make the most of your 5-8 minutes of playing time you are not expected to play more time. Look at Thomas his first 3 games back from injury he played 30+ min, then had one not so good game and now he is playing 8-10 min for the last few games. Now I know that you know what Thomas can do when he plays but he needs that time to play. Now are you telling that if Johnson got more playing time he would flourish more?? That’s something that I really don’t see that right now.
As far as Pargo your right he does need to play more and can give the team a huge spark off the bench, he to fell victim to the one bad game rule VDN has. We all know that VDN has no real idea of what he is doing as a head coach and it seems as if the assistants are not doing any better. Now what I can see is a more athletic squad where they might can use Jenro Pargo and Johnson. But before VDN goes with that for some reason these players have to prove them selves with the 8-10 min they get when they are in the game.

Its going to be a long season for us Bulls fans with VDN at the helm of it all...

Since: May 22, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2010 12:20 pm

James Johnson

Completely disagree with your take on Johnson.  The Bulls are limited athletically beyond Rose and Tyrus Thomas.  Johnson has the ability to take his man off the dribble and score.  Simply, Johnson can get his own shot.  If anything, the Bulls should be utlilizing Johnson in this role and ask him to create more on offense.  Deng is basically just a jump shooter.  Miller, Hinrich are spot up shooters.  Salmons is struggling with the transition to the SG spot.  Noah has started to assert himself in the low post but is limited.  Gibson is a more polished rookie but does not possess the ability to dribble drive.  Johnson is very skilled and needs experience to fully develop.  VDN should be giving Johnson 15-20 minutes a night - not 8-10 minutes so he can start to get in a groove.

The Bulls need to open up a bit on offense and utilize their athletic skills.  Rose, Thomas, Noah, Salmons, & Johnson are athletic players that can get up and down the court.  It always sucks to see players not put in the position to succeed.

VDN has cemented Pargo to the bench and doesn't seem to realize what Pargo can do which is create instant offense.  Scott Skiles and Byron Scott did not have a problem playing Pargo and he flourished.  I see Johnson right now in a similar light.  Bring him in to see if he can get hot - then ride him for a quarter.  Johnson has alot of Paul Pierce type qualities with elite footwork for a man his size.  He offers skills that are somewhat rare in the NBA.  VDN and the Bulls would be better off by highlighting this abilities instead of trying to minimize his PT due to some rookie ineffeciencies.

Johnson and Pargo will get their shot later in the season due to injury or the inevitable realiziation by the organization that the current lineup isn't going to get it done.  It's discouraging that the powers that be do not possess the vision to realize what's readily apparent to most avid NBA fans.

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