Johnson learned from brief Celtics tenure

Johnson learned from brief Celtics tenure
March 10, 2012, 12:02 am
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BOSTON Chris Johnson was a Boston Celtic for 10 days - 10 days that he says had a significant impact on his NBA career.

"I took a lot from that," Johnson told CSNNE.com. "I learned a lot. Plus I was here for training camp, so I learned a lot from that, too."

Johnson, who now plays for Portland, said he paid attention to all of the C's. But he paid particular attention to the Big Four of Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

"From KG, how to play defense and man-up, one-on-one in the post. You get advice from Paul, Ray and future Hall of Famer Rondo," Johnson said. "It was a bunch of good guys."

After the C's released him to make room for Carlos Arroyo, the Blazers picked him up.

It didn't take Johnson long to put the lessons he learned with the Celtics, to good use.

In his second game with Portland after the Celtics waived him in March, Johnson had a seven-point, 3-rebound, 3-blocked shot night in a Blazers win over Washington.

The breakout performance did not come as a surprise to the Celtics, who had a tougher time waiving him than anticipated.

After waiving him following training camp, the Celtics kept close tabs on him when he went to the D-League.

"We needed a body and he can play a little bit," C's coach Doc Rivers said shortly after the Celtics signed him to a 10-day contract.

Johnson said he had no hard feelings towards the Celtics for waiving him.

"I understood the move they had to make, by getting Arroyo," Johnson said. "You can control what you can. All I can control is working hard, trying to get better everyday."

This season, Johnson has seen limited action for the Blazers. He has appeared in 17 games this season, averaging 1.5 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game.