Pistons Fans Can Breathe, Stanley Johnson Avoids Injury
Earlier today, more bad injury news came out of Auburn Hills, Michigan. Second-year swingman, Stanley Johnson, joined Aron Baynes (back), Marcus Morris (left knee tendonitis), and Reggie Jackson (left knee tendinitis, right thumb) on the injury report. However, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy just announced that Johnson is okay. Johnson’s CT scan and MRI both came back negative. Van Gundy speculated it could just be his shoes.
Johnson’s injury scare arose after Monday’s shootaround. Van Gundy stated that he was forced to sit Johnson during the second half of Saturday’s win against the 76ers because, “he said his foot was really bothering him when he was trying to push off and go.” Van Gundy added, “it’s been happening a little bit; it’s a thing in his foot and the weird thing is they say he has small ligaments down in his feet so he gets more bone movement.” However, as of now, the injury is a non-issue. This is great news to Pistons fans.
As a rookie last year, Johnson contributed eight points, four boards, one assist, and one steal in 23 minutes per game. Johnson was the catalyst of the second unit offense. Most importantly, Johnson showed flashes of elite defending and efficient shooting. During the playoffs, Johnson hit 52.2 percent of his shots from the field, while shooting 60 percent from downtown. He also impressed by playing strong defense against the best player in the world, Lebron James.
Coming into his sophomore year, Stanley Johnson is poised to take his game to the next level. Van Gundy stated that, in addition to Andre Drummond, Stanley has the potential to the make the biggest jumps. Van Gundy also believes Stanley has the character to do so, adding, “it’s an ongoing challenge, for him and for us. But the strength Stanley has is he’s got a tremendous passion for the game and tremendous desire to be great. He’s as good a competitor as you’ll find in this league, as young as he is.”
Overall, Stanley Johnson is one of the most important cogs in a young Pistons machine. His offensive and defensive development are critical to the Pistons’ short and long term future. Luckily, it seems the Pistons dodged a bullet and Stanley Johnson will be ready to start the season, as the Pistons take on the Raptors on October 26th.
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