[Amir] Johnson, meanwhile, made his presence felt on the defensive end, using his 6-foot-11 frame to block two shots -- one off a fast break.
Johnson was 6-9 when Detroit drafted him in 2005 (and is still listed as such on NBA.com). He grew two inches his rookie year? Nice! That's one benefit of drafting high school kids, I suppose. I think it's still a bit early to project Johnson for much playing time this year, but his athletic ability is off the charts. Once he is ready to play, he'll be one of the tallest 3's in the game -- even if the rest of his game doesn't come together (though I expect it will), he'll always be a mismatch.
Pistons put pieces together [Detroit Free Press]
[Update: reader JackDutch's comment from the old site unfortunately didn't make it over, but it was so interesting I wanted to include it here:
I think one of the Detroit papers had that while you were getting hitched. He certainly had it showcased the other night, though I’m pretty sure he scraped a couple of those blocks off the backboard. (Called for only one.) Looked like he was manning the 5 spot in the 2nd Q. Either him or Maxiell. All of the kids looked incred Wednesday night. You can see Maxiell growing right before your eyes. Even at the line, he’s getting more confident. Amir sometimes looks like a kid who grew two inches in a summer, but he makes it work. And Blalock looks like a cagey vet. He looks like a steal. He got by anyone at will and made the right pass virtually everytime. It’s going to be really disappointing if we send both Amir and Blalock to Sioux Falls this season. Especially since Carlos Delfino still looks like someone just told him about this thing called a "jump shot"…
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a 12 man rotation?
I missed just about everything while I was gone the first two weeks of October -- thanks for pointing that out. I think Detroit's youth/potential depth will be one of the most interesting subplots of the 06-07 season -- I'm looking forward to it.]