The saga of Stanley Johnson continues.
Johnson was removed from the rotation as Stan Van Gundy went to Reggie Bullock in search of shooting. Bullock then went down with a torn meniscus. That should have cleared the way for Johnson to find his way back into the rotation, but Van Gundy instead opted to play Darrun Hilliard.
Johnson finally broke his silence about his lack of playing time and Rod Beard of The Detroit News relayed his comments in a tweet.
#Pistons Stanley Johnson on playing situation: "Not being able to play right now, I’m not happy with that – I’ll never be happy with that."— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) December 2, 2016
Stan Van Gundy addressed Johnson’s comments, via Rod Beard.
#Pistons SVG on Stanley: We haven’t by any means given up on him. We’re playing the guys we think give us a chance to win on that night.— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) December 2, 2016
#Pistons SVG on Stanley: When it comes to playing time, with the situation we’re in, I’m playing guys I think give us the best chance to win— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) December 2, 2016
#Pistons SVG on Stanley Johnson: "He’s definitely part of our long-term plan. I think the guy has a chance to be really, really good."— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) December 2, 2016
#Pistons SVG: "I’ve got high expectations for Stanley but we need him to work harder at it, on a daily basis..."— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) December 2, 2016
In short, Stanley’s lack of playing time has been a result of him not working hard enough in practice rather than a result of his lackluster performance on the court offensively. Beard suggests exactly that in this tweet
Some of you are suggesting Stanley is in SVG's dog house. Sounds like it's that, but it's practice-based and not game-based. Sounds like.— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) December 2, 2016
It is an interesting development in what has been a pretty weird season for Johnson. This was the year that he was supposed to take the next step like some of his draft peers like Karl Anthony-Towns, Kristaps Porzingis, and Devin Booker.
Instead Johnson is riding the bench and digging himself a deeper hole. He was suspended for a win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 25 due to a violation of team rules. Now, his coach is questioning his effort in practice.
Hopefully Stanley can get his act together because he is still a 20 year old with a lot of untapped potential.
What are your thoughts DBB?