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Armstrong: Five thoughts including Raptors F Amir Johnson

Jack Armstrong
3/6/2013 3:56:24 PM
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Hello folks! Here are five quick thoughts from around the NBA. 

1. AMIR JOHNSON (Raptors): Amazing effort on Monday night at Golden State. I've said it before and I'll say it again; when you're looking for a guy who lays it on the line for you consistently and is both a true professional and class act, this is your man. There was a lot of disagreement/discussion when the Raptors gave him a long-term deal but watching him every day -- he was a good investment.

2. REGGIE JACKSON & DEREK FISHER (Thunder): Had a combined 20 points on 8-11 shooting Tuesday night vs. the Lakers. If Scott Brooks can get this kind of guard productivity off the bench beyond Kevin Martin, they'll be a load to deal with. Having bench guys who give you that spark when you really need it is huge.

3. JORDAN CRAWFORD (Celtics): With the injury to Leandro Barbosa, the Celtics needed a boost to their second unit. If Crawford can give them numbers similar to what he got Tuesday night vs. Philly (12 points in 16 minutes), he'll fill that sorely needed gap for them. A winning environment has a way of getting the best out of guys.

4. TY LAWSON (Nuggets): I love watching this guy; he keeps improving. He is explosive at point of attack and tough to contain. He makes his team go. Good balance between scoring and play making for others and will set the tone/pace for their team as the games get bigger down the stretch. He is dependable and productive.

5. BRANDON KNIGHT (Pistons): Significant adjustment for him with the addition of Jose Calderon to play the point guard spot. He's playing more off the ball and will be interesting to see how this works out down the stretch. I've never seen him as a 'pure' point guard but more of a scoring-minded lead guard. With Rodney Stuckey in the backcourt who plays a similar game like Knight, I see the Pistons trying to move one of them if Calderon stays in the off-season free agent sweepstakes. Too much duplication in their guard play. 

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