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Old 07-30-2007, 11:37 PM   #211
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Default Re: Kevin Johnson video and some other things....

Originally Posted by L.Kizzle
I just watched Game 2 of the 1993 NBA Finals on NBA TV. Kevin Johnson had a total of 4 points and 2 assist. But that wasn't the only stinker, a game before that he put up an amazing 11 and 5. The great Frank Johnson took played for KJ a lot down the stretch.

B.J. Armstrong had more then him in game 1 (16) and game 2 (8).

He was facing injury problems and just got off a tough matchup with Gary Payton and the Sonics in a 7 game series. But yeah, he had some injuries...

The rest of the series he finished:

45.6% 22.0ppg 7.8apg

Not bad...
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:06 AM   #212
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Default Re: Kevin Johnson video and some other things....

Originally Posted by L.Kizzle
I just watched Game 2 of the 1993 NBA Finals on NBA TV. Kevin Johnson had a total of 4 points and 2 assist. But that wasn't the only stinker, a game before that he put up an amazing 11 and 5. The great Frank Johnson took played for KJ a lot down the stretch.

B.J. Armstrong had more then him in game 1 (16) and game 2 (8).

Actually, in Game Two, K.J. scored 4 points with a team-high 6 assists, and in Game One he scored 11 points with 2 assists. But as "Glove" noted, for the remainder of the series (four more games), K.J. averaged 22.0 points (never fewer than 19), 7.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds, a .459 field goal percentage, and a .909 free throw percentage.

Johnson struggled early to adjust to a Chicago defense designed to suffocate him first and foremost, but eventually he came around and his defense momentously changed the series. I'll explain the story by copying an old post from another board momentarily.

But do you think that stars have never suffered poor games in the NBA Finals?
In Game One of the 2000 NBA Finals, Reggie Miller shot 1-16 (.063) from the field.

By the way, Gary Payton didn't fare much better than K.J. in the first two games of his own Finals experience versus Chicago. In Games One and Two of the 1996 NBA Finals, Payton averaged 13.0 points and 4.5 assists on 12-32 shooting from the field (.375), 1-7 on threes (.143), and 1-4 from the free throw line (.250).

Or examine John Stockton's periodic struggles versus the Bulls in the NBA Finals. In the '97 Finals, Stockton had his moments in Games and Four, when he averaged 17.0 points, 12.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.0 steals, shooting .524 from the field. But after the Jazz tied the series 2-2 and the championship hung in the balance, Stockton averaged just 13.0 points and 5.0 assists over Games Five and Six, and he averaged just 13.5 points and 6.0 assists over the series' final two contests in Chicago.

In the '98 Finals, Stockton started brilliantly with 24 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals in Game One, shooting 9-12 (.750) from the field and 6-7 (.857) from the free throw line. But over the series' final five games, Stockton averaged just 6.8 points, shooting .405 from the field and .500 from the free throw line as the Jazz went 1-4 over that stretch.

In his NBA Finals career in Games Five and Six, Stockton averaged a combined 10.5 points and 6.8 assists, cracking the 5-assist mark once in four tries, and shooting .472 from the field and .750 (6-8) from the foul line. In his NBA Finals career in Games Five and Six, K.J. averaged 22.0 points and 9.0 assists, shooting .471 from the field and 1.000 (12-12) from the free throw line.

How about Patrick Ewing, who shot .363 in the 1994 Finals (remember, as a seven-foot center)?

And, hell, in Games Three, Four, and Five of the 1981 NBA Finals, Larry Bird combined to shoot .289 from the field (11-38) as Cedric Maxwell garnered Finals MVP honors for the Celtics.

Last edited by GMATCallahan : 07-31-2007 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:09 AM   #213
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Default Re: Kevin Johnson video and some other things....

Here's my old post discussing K.J. and the 1993 NBA Finals.


[Bill] Simmons is exaggerating and twisting matters. K.J. did struggle badly in the first two games of the NBA Finals at home versus the Bulls, averaging 7.5 points and 4.0 assists per game (while also averaging 4.5 turnovers and shooting a combined 6-21, or .286, from the field). Thanks in part to K.J.'s play, the Suns dropped both contests. However, Barkley also scuffled in Game One, shooting just 9-25 from the field (K.J. shot 4-13, although a couple of the misses came on attempted layups that Richard Dumas turned into putback slams, as you can see in the following footage).

Ten years later, here's what Barkley told the Arizona Republic about Game One.

Realistically we lost the Finals in Games 1 and 2 (at home). None of us, myself included, had ever been through anything like that. Game 1 we were like a deer in the headlights.

So to pin that loss on K.J. would just be to use him as a scapegoat. Actually, after Game One, Phoenix assistant coach Scotty Robertson noted that the Suns hadn't done enough to help Johnson (such as employing backcourt picks to free him up from B.J. Armstrong's defensive pressure). Here's a relevant newspaper excerpt:

PRO BASKETBALL; The New Guard: Bulls' Armstrong Makes His Point BROWN, CLIFTON. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Jun 11, 1993. pg. B.7

But when Game 1 ended, the Bulls had beaten the Suns, 100-92, and Armstrong (16 points, 5 assists) had outplayed Johnson (11 points, 2 assists). Armstrong's baseline-to-baseline defense had harassed Johnson into one of his worst playoff games (4-for-13 shooting, 5 turnovers).

As both teams prepared for Game 2, Friday night in Phoenix, Armstrong had already forced the Suns to make adjustments.

"B. J. played a tremendous game," said Suns Assistant Coach Scotty Robertson. "And I've been told that B. J. was terrific against Mark Price in the Cleveland series -- had him frustrated.

"I've been here for five years, and the way everybody says you beat Phoenix is to take the ball out of Kevin Johnson's hands. That's not unusual -- we've seen it, he's seen it. But two things happened. B. J. did a better job, and we didn't give Kevin enough help. We can't allow B. J. to dog Kevin in the back court like that without helping him."

Five years ago, I re-watched much of Game Two on ESPN Classic. K.J. recorded 4 quick assists in the first quarter off penetration and then headed to the bench after picking up a couple fouls. From there, Barkley took over (42 points), and K.J. spent most of the game in foul trouble. Head coach Paul Westphal actually turned to "Fourth Quarter" Frank Johnson for part of the fourth period, and then K.J. checked back in and picked up his sixth foul, ending his game. His 6 assists and 3 steals led the team, but he only scored 4 points while recording 6 fouls and 4 turnovers in 32 minutes. In a sense, K.J. did "melt down" during the first two games of the 1993 NBA Finals.

Over the final four contests, however, he averaged 22.0 points (never scoring fewer than 19), 7.8 assists, and 4.0 rebounds, shooting .459 from the field and .909 from the free throw line. In other words, he played like an All-Star on offense and his defense momentously changed the series. For Game Three, Westphal switched K.J., instead of Dan Majerle, onto Michael Jordan. K.J. curtailed most of Jordan's driving game and gave him less space for his face-up jumpers, hence keeping him outside the lane and forcing him into tougher shots. The result was that Jordan missed 18 of his last 27 field goal attempts in Game Three as Phoenix pulled out a historic triple-overtime victory. Leading the way had been K.J., for not only had he harassed Jordan (Air scored 44 points but needed 43 field goal attempts to do so), but Johnson scored 25 of his own points, delivered 9 assists, and grabbed 7 rebounds. You can see a few of his plays here:

Most impressively of all, K.J. set an NBA Finals record with 62 minutes played, while guarding Jordan virtually the whole time and running the point. He didn't come out of the game until about 20 seconds remained in the third overtime and the Suns had the crucial road victory safely in the bag.

K.J. continued to perform ably from there, averaging 21.0 points and 7.3 assists over the final three contests and again guarding Jordan in Games Five (which the Suns won) and Six (which they infamously lost on the John Paxson three-pointer, 99-98). With K.J. covering Jordan, the team's defense held up and the Suns kept the Bulls under 100 points in both contests. Late in Game Six with K.J. about to shoot a couple free throws, Marv Albert stated, "Kevin Johnson coming up strong, once again."

So, yes, K.J. struggled early against the Bulls' championship-tested defensive schemes, but eventually he adjusted and came through commendably over the last four contests, making huge contributions on both ends of the floor. Here are the box scores for the series, and remember that Barkley also disappointed in Game One by shooting 36% from the field (as the power forward) in 25 attempts, another fact that Simmons ignores. Barkley also shot 39% from the field in Game Six in 18 attempts, and obviously, you'd like your MVP power forward to be at 40% or higher. That's not to say that Sir Charles was at fault (he played terrifically overall), but to simply heap all the praise on him and cite K.J. as the reason for the Finals loss is fallacious.

What people have to remember is that the Bulls originally designed their defense to stop K.J., not Barkley. When K.J. would cross-over early in that series, it seemed like a wall of red gel would shift across the floor to try and suffocate him. As much as some folks care to believe that the '93 Suns were simply Barkley's team and that everyone else was an ancillary presence, before the start of the Finals, Phil Jackson thought differently. Jackson said that Chicago needed to shut off the Suns' engine, and that that was K.J. Indeed, the "Zen Master" claimed that the Bulls needed to replace that "Corvette engine" with a "Volkswagen engine." Here's another newspaper excerpt noting how Chicago would target K.J. most of all, especially because in March 1993, he'd posted the highest single-game assists total of any Bull opponent that year.

BASKETBALL; Bulls' Ethic in the Finals: Work Those Suns Weary MORAN, MALCOLM. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Jun 8, 1993. pg. B.11

He understands how they think. He knows how to make them uncomfortable. Now that B. J. Armstrong's role with the Chicago Bulls has expanded to include a starting spot and specific defensive assignments, he can draw upon his previous basketball life as an outstanding offensive player at the high school and college level.

Armstrong's 3-point shooting percentage of .453 led the National Basketball Association this season. But it is his role within Chicago's defensive structure, and his ability to share in the attempted containment of Phoenix guard Kevin Johnson, that could become a central factor in the championship series against the Suns, which begins Wednesday night in Phoenix.

"That's where they overwhelm us," said Phil Jackson, the Chicago coach, when asked about the point-guard position, and Johnson's impact.

"It's mainly his will," Jackson said. "He has great will. Stubbornness, almost, in that he's going to penetrate the defense. It can get him in trouble. It can make him great. We have to find the first and prevent the latter."

... Johnson May Be the Key

For all of Charles Barkley's overwhelming power and outrageous boldness, Johnson's creative playmaking role makes him a focal point. His 16 assists against the Bulls on March 30, with Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippin [sic] and John Paxson taking turns against him, were the most against Chicago this season and an important part of a 113-109 Phoenix victory.

... Armstrong said the task of dealing with Johnson was far from a one-on-one matchup, but he understands his importance.

"After this series, I just want him to know that I'm going to be there," Armstrong said. "I don't know how many points he's going to score. I don't know how many assists he's going to get. You can't stop a guy. You just make him work for every single thing he gets. Every crossover dribble. Every rebound. Every steal.

"I know I'm not going to stop him. He gets the ball too much. Stopping a guy is impossible. But limiting how many times he can touch the ball, making him dribble 90 feet instead of just walking it up and picking him up at halfcourt, those are things that add up in a seven-game series."

Sure enough, the Bulls let Barkley go off for 42 in Game Two and yet still emerged with the victory. The guy that they'd wanted to dog was K.J., and early in the series, they did so expertly, especially since Johnson was foul-ridden in Game Two and was inclined to let Sir Charles dominate, anyway.

Simmons, however, seems to believe that K.J. played poorly for virtually the entire series, which is simply incorrect. In a column last spring, he actually wrote that K.J. didn't show up until Game Five of the '93 Finals. I don't know where he'd been during Game Three, but evidently it wasn't in front of a television set. That triple-overtime affair was arguably as epic and thrilling a contest as any in the history of the NBA Finals, and K.J.'s star burned brightly with his resilient, record-setting, marathon effort. Apparently, Simmons possesses no memory of the game or K.J.'s continuing effectiveness thereafter in the series.

That's why I detest Simmons, because he's a Hollywood entertainment writer who uses his soapbox on this web site to masquerade as a sports journalist. He should stick to comedy and stop trying to be a basketball analyst/historian, especially if he's going to botch or twist his facts. I actually wrote to him about this gaffe last year, but who knows if he read my e-mail. If you guys really want to set him straight on the true story, e-mail him with some of the truth, accompanied by the links that I've provided here. If he's flooded, the veracity may finally penetrate his thick skull.

Last edited by GMATCallahan : 07-31-2007 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:26 AM   #214
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Default Re: Kevin Johnson video and some other things....

Originally Posted by XxNeXuSxX
Good job GMAT.

Thanks. Hopefully some of the articles were intriguing historical reads for NBA fans, if nothing else.
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:35 AM   #215
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Default Re: Kevin Johnson video and some other things....

Originally Posted by L.Kizzle
Glove, you say at KJ's peak he was better the Stock, Kidd, Nash, ect. But what seperates his peak from players like Fat Lever, Tim Hardaway or somebody like that?

Those guys had some pretty good 2-3 season stretches.

Fat Lever, 1987-1989 (three seasons): 19.2 points, 7.9 assists, .467 field goal percentage (16.8 FGA), .784 free throw percentage (4.1 FTA), 8.7 rebounds, 2.6 steals, 2.2 turnovers, 3.66:1.00 assists-to-turnovers, 37.7 minutes, 78.3 games.

The Denver Nuggets averaged 45.0 wins per regular season, reaching three Western Conference First Rounds and one Western Conference Semifinals.

Kevin Johnson, 1989-1991 (three seasons): 21.7 points, 11.3 assists, .507 field goal percentage (14.8 FGA), .854 free throw percentage (7.7 FTA), 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 3.7 turnovers, 3.07:1.00 assists-to-turnovers, 37.6 minutes, 77.3 games.

The Phoenix Suns averaged 54.7 wins per regular season, reaching three Western Conference First Rounds, two Western Conference Semifinals, and two Western Conference Finals.

Tim Hardaway, 1991-1993 (three seasons): 22.7 points, 10.0 assists, .463 field goal percentage (18.8 FGA), .771 free throw percentage (5.0 FTA), 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 3.3 turnovers, 3.04:1.00 assists-to-turnovers, 40.0 minutes, 76.3 games.

The Golden State Warriors averaged 44.3 wins per season, reaching two Western Conference First Rounds and one Western Conference Semifinals.

All three players enjoyed terrific three-year stretches, but K.J.'s was clearly the most effective and hence resulted in vastly greater (or more consistent) regular season and postseason success. On average, his teams won about ten more games per regular season and were a serious contender for the NBA Finals, twice reaching the Western Conference Finals. Hardaway's Warriors, conversely, didn't even reach the playoffs every year during his peak stretch, even though he was running with other scintillating scorers such as Mitch Richmond (for awhile) and Chris Mullin (remember "Run TMC"). In fact, in Hardaway's five full seasons in Golden State, the Warriors actually missed the playoffs in three of those years (60% of the time) and only won one playoff series (the 1991 Western Conference First Round versus San Antonio). In Hardaway's entire 13-year NBA career, his teams won a grand total of four playoff series, and one of those was primarily due to a brawl that wiped out virtually half the Knicks' roster in 1997.

Hardaway scored on the same prolific level as K.J., but he was much more inefficient from both the field and the free throw line. He required several more field goal attempts to score his points, he was more inconsistent as a shooter, and he didn't attack the basket as well or draw as many fouls. Hardaway also wasn't quite the playmaker that K.J. happened to be, although he was prolific. Still, K.J. averaged over an assist more per game during those three-year stretches, twice reaching 11.0 and once 12.0. Hardaway, conversely, never reached 11.0 assists per contest.

Lever obviously didn't measure up to K.J. and Hardaway as a scorer or a playmaker, and he, too, didn't compare to K.J. when it came to field goal and free throw percentage. He teamed with Hall of Famer Alex English in Denver (who scored more points in the decade of the 1980s than anyone else), along with other fine scorers such as Walter Davis and Michael Adams, but he couldn't consistently elevate his teams like K.J. because he wasn't the same caliber of scorer, shooter, or playmaker.

Lever and K.J. actually squared off in the 1989 Western Conference First Round, with Lever averaging 11.0 points, 9.5 assists, a .375 field goal percentage (12.0 FGA), a 1.000 free throw percentage (2-2, 1.0 FTA), 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and a 3.17:1.00 assists-to-turnovers. K.J., meanwhile, averaged 30.7 points, 13.0 assists, a .480 field goal percentage (16.7 FGA), a .935 free throw percentage (43-46, 15.3 FTA), 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 3.7 turnovers, and a 3.55:1.00 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Given those numbers, it shouldn't be surprising that the Suns swept the series, 3-0, averaging 122 points per game and scoring at least 130 in each of the last two. Denver, meanwhile, averaged 113.

Lever was a phenomenal rebounder, so a better comparison for him would be Jason Kidd. Kidd was the more prolific playmaker, but Lever at his peak was a superior scorer and field goal shooter.

When it comes to combining the three more important statistics for an elite playmaker, points, assists, and field goal percentage, three players stand out in NBA history: Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and Kevin Johnson.

Last edited by GMATCallahan : 07-31-2007 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:50 AM   #216
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Default Re: Kevin Johnson video and some other things....

Originally Posted by Kblaze8855

Not the highest quality at all points(and youtube doesnt help) but lets see you get 3 minutes of prime mostly pre Barkley Kevin Johnson footage. Its mostly from old NBA action tapes, a few home videos, and other sources. Left out the Bulls 93 title video footage. Wanted more of his pre injury days.


Hes one of the few to lead a team past a Magic Johnson led team when Magic was actually playing. Moses Malone, Bird, Jordan, Hakeem, and Kevin Johnson. Magic was hurt when they played the Pistons and got swept. Hamstring issue. Him and Magic are the only 20+ point 10+ assists 50% shooting players ever and both of them did it twice. Some choose to consider Tom Chambers the leader of those suns but its no different than Nash and Amare. Anyone giving Nash credit for the Suns should probably give KJ credit for his. Both had crazy talent to do what they did but not all talented teams come together so well..

Think these suns are great scorers? KJ was leading some of the best offensive teams anyone could hope to see. Hed led a 119ppg team one season. The brief "This day in history" clip in the video is from a game the Suns scored 173 points in regulation. One season they had 130 in 3 of the first 4 games of the season. Later that year they had 3 130+ point games in a 3 week stretch and dropped 138 points 3 days after the last of those. They topped 120 in 3 of the last 4 games of that season with a game of 141. They only went under 100 points in 3 games one season. Gave the warriors 154. They had 3 straight playoff games with over 130 points. KJ probably led the greatest offense of the last quarter century outside the early 80s Nuggets and Showtime(who never actually scored 119 a game as the Suns did).

When Nash went off in the 05 playoffs he had people saying it proved he was MVP. He put up 24 and 11 that playoff run. Kevin Johnson had long playoff runs(10 games or more 3 of them to the WCF) getting:

24/12(not a mistake he did it in 2 seasons)
27 and 10
25/9(shot 57% that run too)

And really he could have put up more assists but the Suns had an oldschool style of fastbreak. They didnt just run with the ball they broke out like wide recievers and had guys throwing full court outlet passes. In the video I showed clips from a Suns/heat game where Kevin did a lot of what im talking about. Get the rebound and toss it 80 feet for the layup or to a teammate who then gets the assist by hitting the open man. He might have averaged more assists if he kept the ball himself more on the break.

In the halfcourt he had a good bit of scoring responsibility. He didnt lead them in ppg but id say he was their best one on one scorer. Bit of a TJ ford and Wade hybrid. Always willing to pass but he could get to the basket at will.

And his defense. He wasnt an elite defender but he was great on the ball when he had to be. Even guarded Michael Jordan pretty well at times even though the bigger(and all D team level defender) Majerle was on the team. List of current points you could throw on Jordan is not long.

Im not saying hes top 30-50 all time as a few do but he sure as hell wasnt worse than Steve Nash.

Praise KJ.

Actually, when watching T.J. Ford this spring, I also thought that I saw a little K.J. in him, and then Wade does have that explosive quality, balanced by the mid-range jumper (although K.J.'s was better in my view).

Good call on Ford in particular.
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