After getting hammered by the Bucks, the Pacers found a veteran enforcer

 – Gudstory

After getting hammered by the Bucks, the Pacers found a veteran enforcer – Gudstory

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Unsigned NBA wing James Johnson emerges from a booth carrying a torso. Meanwhile, on the television screen behind him, footage of Giannis Antetokounpo roaming the sidelines and into the players’ tunnel looped repeatedly.

Johnson balances a wooden log upright and pushes it down with his bare hands. The record explodes in half. As he stops to wipe his brow, the trees begin to sway and the frequent whooping sound of helicopters fills the air.

The helicopter landed in a field. The door opens and out comes Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan, guarding his bruised ribs.

“I know why you’re here,” Johnson says, interrupting Buchanan.

And with that, the Pacers have found their newest forward. Did Johnson’s signing play out exactly this way? I’m not sure, but I’d like to imagine how it went. On Tuesday afternoon, the Pacers took the 35-year-old wing defender off the scrap heap and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Pacers have some needs, especially on the defensive end, where they leave the paint open. But more importantly, the post-game brawl on Wednesday night prompted them to sign an old enforcer from Rick Carlisle’s past. According to Carlyle, Unknown Bucks player Buchanan was injured During Antetokounmpo’s post-match speech in search of the match ball, after his career-high performance,

Johnson, who previously played for Carlisle on the Mavericks in 2020 and again in 2022, is an experienced bench vet for Indiana, but he doesn’t even qualify as a 3-and-D defender as a 30 percent Pro. He is most recognized as a black belt with MMA fighting experience making him a suitable signing for Indiana. Don’t be pedantic about his record or the quality of his opponents. This is the NBA.

Think it’s as much of a joke as you want. Serge Ibaka certainly didn’t after Johnson hit him with a jab to the chin and Ibaka’s response was to raise his hands. Ibaka may have looked like he could wrestle a bear, and even then he didn’t want that trouble.

Now suspended Draymond Green cheap shot It’s tarnished the name of hardwood enforcers, but it’s a requirement for any team worth talking about. There’s a reason why Dillon Brooks is making $80 million from the Houston Rockets, and it’s not just about his perfect shots. Ime Udoka wanted to instill toughness into his young rockets. Carlisle finds Mr. Miyagi.

Johnson is not Green’s caliber defensively. It won’t turn their 28th-ranked defense into something tangible. The next time they face the Bucks on New Year’s Day, Antetokounmpo is still going to the rim and hurting his ego. However, NBA teams will spend a pretty penny on Scary. No team needed one more than the Pacers and Johnson went cheap. The next time an NBA star thinks he can handle the Pacers like a log, Johnson is the backup.


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