High energy and quick thinking on the court in the Western Conference Finals shows that Cam Johnson really believes in the evolution of his game. Along with coach Monty Williams, who provides him the minutes, the second-year player out of UNC is living in the moment and not letting anything get into his head.
A seat in the Phoenix Suns starting lineup for Cam will be possible for next season. Right now, it would be unfair to his play off the bench in having him take over Jae Crowder’s spot at the power forward position.
We did this all season long when Cam was healthy and playing well. Switching him out for Jae and giving him some more minutes, but an up and down performance during the season killed any kind of momentum he might have had to gain the starting spot.
Dealing with the downs to this season, you can tell that Cam has not been feeling sorry for himself. He has been paying attention while on the bench and sneaking his way into very important moments during the Suns matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Using his size and quickness to get to the rim and wreak havoc on the Clippers defense has been very consistent. It is getting to the point where I am trusting him more than any player on the Suns roster.
His stats for the series have him showing up in a big way and continue to grow.
Aren't they pretty? So full contribution and potential.
There will be a lot to say going into the next game with the Suns currently up 3-2 and if winning just one more game will get and stay in their heads. Cam is definitely not one of those players and is treating this series like he has been here before.
“Right now is the biggest moment of our season,” Johnson said after the 14-loss in Game 5. “It’s what we put in all the work for. So we have no other choice but to respond with everything we’ve talked about. With poise. And go back to LA and get after them.”
This does not mean that he is the best player on the Suns and should have the ball in his hands, but he is rarely making mistakes and has found a real groove offensively and defensively.
Cam is feeling himself and you can see on the floor that his teammates are trusting him more and more. The Clippers defense will have issues with his length and physicality and it does not seem like Cam cares.
Deandre Ayton has gotten a lot of praise this series for showing up and being dominant. And it now seems to be expected, even after a mediocre performance in game 5. I, and maybe many other Suns fans, did not even think to rely on Cam as someone to steal the show and be in the perfect spots in tough situations.
The minutes from Monty need to keep coming. You could see at times during last nights loss to the Clippers, Cam was gasping for air but would keep his head down and continue to push on to the next play. Is it weird that I never wanted him to rest?
This would seem to be a little over reactionary after seeing Cam put up 14 points and going 3/3 from three, but it has lasted all series. And the best part is that he is molding into that power forward body and the basketball IQ is on the rise.
Another off-season to grow physically and mentally, will help Johnson’s chances as a starter. Of course it is no fun to look forward to next season when an NBA championship is in reach, but a lot can already be taken from this year’s playoff run going into next year.