The former UNC basketball standout has worked his way into the Phoenix Suns starting lineup. Is the second-year pro a full-time starter now?
Through the first Phoenix Suns first 11 games of the season, the team’s starting unit has struggled to get going offensively.
Coming into Monday’s action, the Suns starting core posted one of the worst net ratings in the entire NBA. Over 184 played, the starters posted a -6.5, one in which is not beneficial for a team that appears to have deep playoff aspirations.
After having three straight games postponed, coach Monty Williams and company had a chance to re-evaluate their roster. Prior to Monday’s game, Williams decided it was time for a change in his starting lineup.
With the need of more offense in mind, Williams inserted former UNC basketball standout Cam Johnson into his starting five. The former Tar Heel replaced veteran forward Jae Crowder.
In his first start of the season against the Memphis Grizzlies, Johnson scored 10 points (4-9 shooting) and recorded four rebounds and three assists over 23 minutes of action.
As Tar Heel fans already know, Johnson is an above-average offensive player. Through 12 games this season (in mostly a reserve role), Johnson is averaging 12.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He is shooting 46.8% from the floor, and 38.5% from three-point land.
Although Crowder is viewed by many as the team’s best defender, Johnson currently provides a better shooting option to work with the team’s first unit. As the Suns look for the right formula, Williams will continue to mix-and-match in order to find the right lineup to start the game.
Johnson has a great opportunity to show that he belongs in the team’s starting unit. If he can shoot the ball at the ability he’s capable of and plays steady defense, it will make it very hard for Williams to put him back in a reserve role.
The Suns (7-5) are back in action on Wednesday night, as they travel to Houston for a nationally televised broadcast. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 PM, and the game will be broadcasted live on ESPN.
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