Season Recap/Notes: Stanley Johnson.

In case you missed it, Andre's recap is right here.And if you want to go back further to the other starters you can follow them in a chain to whichever you want.

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Follow along with all the stats on basketball reference.Any stats that are not readily available there will be linked or otherwise noted.

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A nice top 10 plays in case you haven't seen it. Also you should follow BadBoysRemix on twitter, he's a solid follow. (I'm hoping some more support will result in him making more videos.)

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The Good:

Before looking into any of the stats, because most of them are not particularly kind to Stanley, is to go with the eye test here. Stanley Johnson was 19 years old this season (I think he was the youngest dude in the NBA this season) and he was the clear 6th man of the team, playing more than 5 mpg more than the 7th guy (Anthony Tolliver) and he was actually generally a positive on the floor, and he did this on a team that was actually pretty good and trying to win games. There are not a lot of 19 year olds who can say that they had a real role on a winning basketball team. Simply showing that he is capable of actually playing in the NBA at just 19 is a really positive sign, even if many of his numbers ended up looking not so great. (or even bad in some cases)

The main thing that can actually be pointed to as being good (not just "showed some potential here") was his defense. It was certainly not perfect due to his youth, regularly making rookie mistakes like getting baited into fouls, or going the wrong way around screens and that sort of thing. HOWEVA, overall he was still a really solid defender all season. Regularly taking the toughest assignment while he was on the floor, and often doing a fine job of it as well. He was also solid at turning his defense into transition opportunities. (Even if he was not always adept at actually converting those transition chances.)

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The Bad:

Just to be clear, most of the bad here has glimpses of good, so if it sounds like I don't really think it is all that bad, its because I don't. Most of his problems he showed enough promise of improvement that I have faith he will improve.

First off, has to be his general offensive efficiency. He shot just 37.5% from the field, and just over 30% from 3. And passing the ball he had 1.6 assists, and 1.6 turnovers per game. These are not good numbers, in fact they are pretty bad. HOWEVA, there are a couple of things to point out here. First off, is that when he was with the bench mobs, he was asked to create a lot of his own offense, and as a 19 year old on the floor with a really bad unit (which the bench mob certainly was) he understandably struggled a bit. Some people have brought up that the most concerning thing was that he shot just 41% inside the arc, which is a low number for a guy as big and strong as he is. This is largely false though, a look at Stanley's shot chart is very telling.Other than the kind of bizarrely poor showing from the right side at the hoop, (Stanley is right handed) Stanley was actually very competent when he was in the paint, but was, um, not very good in the midrange. Which falls in line with the theory that his inefficiencies were largely due to him having more offensive responsibility than he was really capable of, he ended up with too many instances of having to try and bail out the offense with the shot clock running down. (This also supports my thought process that all season he should have gone to the hoop every time or died trying.) Also looking at the shot chart, the right corner 3 was kind to him, and that was a trend that was true all season. And FWIW, 30% from 3, with a spot that he was actually reliable from all season, is not too horrible for a 19 year old. It's not good, but there is some hope for a serviceable 3 point shooter.

As far as his passing goes, I am actually very excited for his potential there. I would guess he ran more PnRs this season than he did in his season in college, and super young ball handlers almost always have trouble with turnovers, and considering that Stanley is not even a PG I was actually pretty impressed by his ball handling. Once again, it must improve in the future, but he showed enough promise there to give hope for the future. But it does still get filed under the bad for this season because overall it was not very good lol.

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Biggest Answer?

He backed up his talk and reputation of being a super hard nosed and fearless dude. A lot of guys come out of college billed as "hard workers" and "dedicated to defense" and end up not ever really showing much of it once they arrive. His confidence was occasionally a hinderance to him, but he certainly was confident. He plays hard, and see's the mistakes he makes and tries to improve them. His defense was the most notable place to see this, as he very clearly progressed as the season went along.

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Biggest Question?

Everything. He showed lots of potential in his rookie year, but other than his defense, everything still needs lots of work. (And even his defense still has plenty) There is good reason to believe that he will improve all aspects of his game, but it has to happen. Other than that, a big question is where his best fit on the team is. He could stick around as a killer 6th man type, or take over as starting SG or SF. He could even, in theory, spend some time as a small ball 4. The Pistons have solid players in all of these roles (other than 6th man) already so it will be interesting to see where he ends up fitting.

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The verdict for this year and beyond?

I see Shawn Marion. A killer all around defender and a stat stuffer do-it-all offensive player. That is probably the upper end for Stanley but that is kind of what I see. Another high end possibility I see is Gordon Hayward with better defense, and (likely) worse shooting. (Sorry for breaking the rules and comparing a black guy with a white guy) Essentially, Stanley has shown lots of potential as a killer defensive player who can be a really nice offensive player who handle the ball and also be effective as an off ball player. I actually feel pretty good about his chances to reach his ceiling as well.

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What do you think? What was the best thing you saw from Stanley this season? What about the worst? Let me know! We all get smarter!

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