Raptors' Johnson will be key player against Nets

Amir Johnson (ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI Agency)

Amir Johnson (ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI Agency)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:44 PM ET

Want to know if Toronto has a shot in this series? Check out how Amir Johnson is playing.

It’s quite likely that Johnson’s health determines whether or not the Raptors can upend the Brooklyn Nets.

Johnson, one of the NBA’s most under-appreciated impact players, makes everything work for Dwane Casey’s squad defensively. Not only does he do a fine job guarding his own man and on the boards, but he also is the Raptor expected to cover for the mistakes of others.

Since arriving in Toronto in what was supposed to be a low-impact deal with Milwaukee, a team he had not even suited up for after being dealt from Detroit in 2009, Johnson has been by far the club’s top defender. The numbers are staggering. When Johnson is on the floor, the team has consistently been strong defensively. When he hasn’t been, the dropoff has been steep (though not quite as big this season as in the past).


Videos

Photos