Friday, May 11, 2007

Player Report Card: DerMarr Johnson

(Boulder-CO) DerMarr Johnson can be summed up with one word: Enigma. Since taking the basketball world by storm as a freshman at the University of Cincinnati and being the sixth overall pick in the 2000 draft there has been nothing concrete about Johnson’s game. Granted he came back from a broken neck which he suffered in a car accident, but since his inspiring return to basketball DerMarr has just been on different page.

In the 2006-07 season with the Denver Nuggets, DerMarr once again saw his game appearances dwindle from 71 games in 04-05, to 58 games in 05-06, down to only 39 games in last season’s campaign. I’m also sorry to report that DJ’s numbers from last season are his lowest of his six-year career. Johnson posted meager averages of 3.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, and .4 of an assist in 10.7 minutes an appearance. And what makes those numbers seem even worse is how DerMarr failed to make the impact on defense that has been seen in years past.

For the most part DerMarr Johnson could be seen poking elbows with Jamal Sampson at the end of the bench this season. My assessment is Coach George Karl either doesn’t have the faith in DerMarr’s game that he can be a solid contributor or that DerMarr himself doesn’t have the desire to seize the opportunity at hand. Because as far as I have seen, (practices, games, and dating back to college), DerMarr has the raw ability to be a Scottie Pippen-esque point-forward in this league, but for some reason(s) or another just hasn’t made that extra push to take himself from being an inconsistent contributor to a full-time go-to guy.

DerMarr Johnson earned $744,551 in salary for 2007.

After being a late sign this past season I would be very surprised if DerMarr is back wth the Nuggets next year. I strongly believe that the Nuggets have to address some of the dead weight on their bench, and along with Sampson, DerMarr should be packaged up and given a fresh start somewhere else. Nothing personal, but the NBA is a business and DJ is just not fitting in with what the Nuggets are trying accomplish.

1 comment:

ThaAnswer said...

I still love him cuz he's a Bearcat. Good luck DJ