March 16, 5:21 pm — by Matthew Tynan
Why won’t RC sign the hometown kid Ivan “The Terrible” Johnson? It’s been well documented that Diaw has trouble against athletic bigs (i.e. Favors) & Tiago/Tim have trouble against stretch 4s. Johnson is a decent athlete who has no issues mixing it up inside & he can actually CATCH the ball unlike Ayres. Basically, he could play the Birdman role in spot duties when Diaw is struggling defensively. He may not be a game changer but at the least he is better than the Ayres. I’m just going to assume RC is waiting till the last possible minute to pull the trigger just to save as much money as possible since I’m pretty sure Peter Holt isn’t impressed by the fact the he’s cutting Malcom Thomas’s check to play for the Jazz.
Is Johnson a reliable defender? Will he fair better than Diaw on that end? Does he fit with the culture? I remember him fouling at a high rate which is a huge no-no in SA’s system.
What’s the point of signing someone that’s an upgrade over Ayers? If Ayers (or Johnson) is being asked to play minutes in the playoffs, something has gone horribly wrong and they’re pretty much screwed anyway.
Y’all should do another podcast! Interested to hear your thoughts on possible playoff opponents, who the Spurs match up well with (and not so well), and where the Spurs might end up in seeding (do you think they hold onto the 1?). Thanks!
I’m talking about an insurance policy (i.e. T-Mac) just in case someone on the front-line has to miss even a game or two. In the post-season every minute counts so every team welcomes any quality minute from players 1-to-12 even if it’s 5 minutes. There is nothing to relative lose even monetary wise, the choice is b/w going w/ just 14 guys or adding a guy who could possibly contribute.
If Malik Rose & Chris “Birdman” Anderson played key roles on championship teams, I don’t see why Ivan Johnson can’t be the 15th man on a contender. They were already willing to give an unproven NBA player (Malcom Thomas) a GUARANTEED contract & Ivan RIGHT NOW is much better than Ayres let alone Thomas. (Besides, Ivan was foul prone b/c he was FORCED to play CENTER against guys much bigger than him i.e. Hibbert……..& it’s not like Baynes/Ayres aren’t a foul prone themselves)
I understand what you’re saying – an insurance policy. However, in the playoffs, you aren’t playing 12 guys. At most, SA will play 9, maybe 10 guys. At this point why spend $ on someone who doesn’t have any upside and won’t play meaningful minutes? If you are intent on signing someone to the last spot, it’s probably more beneficial to sign a guy you really like from the D-League and use the rest of the season to evaluate him (a sort of development period if you will) and see if he can possibly be a future rotation player.
I also don’t think comparing Anderson to Johnson is a valid comparison. Anderson has the length and athleticism to do things Johnson simply is not capable of doing. Once you get past the tattoos, he’s really turned himself into a solid backup rotation big who does a lot of the undesirable, dirty work winning teams need.
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