Who is JaJuan Johnson?

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Who is JaJuan Johnson?

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON - On Draft Night, the Boston Celtics selected Providence guard Marshon Brooks with the 25th overall pick . . . and minutes later traded him to the New Jersey Nets as part of a deal to acquire big man JaJuan Johnson from Purdue. So who is Johnson? Get to know the newest member of the Celtics.

The Basics
Position: Forward
Height: 6-10
Weight: 221
Born: February 8, 1989
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
College: Purdue University

Collegiate Accolades
During his senior year at Purdue, Johnson was named First Team All-American, Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Last season he averaged 20.5 ppg (49.4 FG, 80.9 FT), 8.6 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 1.6 TO.

Docs Take
Pick-and-pop, hes a terrific shooter for his size and extremely athletic," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "He obviously rebounded well in college, which you hope translates over to the pros. But weve proven we can get shots for our bigs . . . and so if we can get him shots, hell make them. The defensive part, comes from a great program and hes a high character kid. At pick number 25, thats what you hope for.

How He Will Complement the Celtics
Johnson gives the Celtics the size they need after their frontcourt was depleted last season. Dont expect him to be a 20-and-10 guy next season - thats not the role of rookies on this veteran team - but he can learn and develop under the leadership of experienced teammates, especially Kevin Garnett.

I dont think I ever have to talk to Kevin about that, Rivers said of Garnett offering leadership. It will be Johnsons choice if he wants to follow it. One thing, Kevins a great teacher - actually the best teacher that Ive ever coached, by far. But if you dont listen the first time, hell never teach you again, and thats just how he works.

A Reliable Referral
Rivers son, Jeremiah, gave Johnson a strong review after playing against him in college. Jeremiah loved him, Rivers said. When we drafted him he actually thought it was one of the best players that he had played against. He knows what hes talking about, hopefully.

Where to find him
Johnson is on Twitter @BoilerBaller25.

Random Fact
JaJuan will be the fifth player with the last name "Johnson" on the Celtics. Former players include (in chronological order from the most recent) Chris Johnson, Joe Johnson, Dennis Johnson, and Rich Johnson.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA

Celtics' team plane receives bomb threat

Celtics' team plane receives bomb threat

BOSTON -- There was a bomb threat to the Boston Celtics’ team plane to Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon, but no one was injured.

The incident will be investigated by NBA security which will work in conjunction with the FBI on this matter which was one of several hoaxes called into airports across the country on Saturday.

News of the bomb threat was first known when Celtics forward Jae Crowder posted an Instagram photo showing players departing the plane with the caption, “BOMB THREAT ON US”.

Celtics officials declined to comment on the matter and instead referred all bomb threat-related questions to the league office.

Messages to the league office were not immediately returned.

Celtics' ball movement among NBA's best, with or without Thomas

Celtics' ball movement among NBA's best, with or without Thomas

BOSTON – When it comes to winning basketball, keep it moving – the ball that is – has become a staple of the Celtics this season. 
 
And lately they’ve had to do it without Isaiah Thomas, the team’s leading scorer at 26 points per game as well as their top assists guy (6.2) who will miss hish third game in a row Sunday in Oklahoma City because of a right groin injury.
 
The Celtics have split their first two games without Thomas, with the most recent being a 101-94 home loss to Toronto on Friday.
 
When it comes to this team and ball movement, fans are just as divided when it pertains to whether the Celtics move the ball better without the high-scoring Thomas in the lineup. 
 
Regardless of what fans think they know about this team and how they move the ball, the numbers paint a very clear picture that this team’s ball movement is among the best in the NBA, with or without Thomas in the lineup. 

And that will be important on Sunday against an Oklahoma City team that doesn’t rely on the ball swinging from one side of the floor to the other, nearly as much as the Celtics. 
 
The Thunder, led by MVP candidate Russell Westbrook, are dead-last in the NBA when it comes to passes made per game (267.1). 
 
Meanwhile, the Celtics are at the opposite end of the passing game spectrum, averaging 331.7 passes per game, which is second in the NBA (Philadelphia, 354.3).
 
And in the two games without Thomas, Boston has averaged 347.0 passes per game, which ranks second in the NBA in that period of time. 
 
In addition to missing his points and assists, the Celtics must also find ways to make plays in filling the void left by a player who has the ball in his hands a lot of the time. 
 
Thomas’ usage percentage (percentage of plays used by a player while he’s on the floor) of 32.9 percent ranks seventh in the NBA, ahead of notable stars such as San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard (30.9 percent), Portland’s Damian Lillard (30.8 percent), New York’s Carmelo Anthony (29.5 percent), as well as Cleveland’s LeBron James (29 percent) and Golden State’s back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry (28.2 percent).
 
So, considering how involved Thomas has been in the team’s offense, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the numbers in terms of passing and ball movement are better without him than they are when he’s on the floor playing. 
 
What should be surprising is that the gap statistically without him, isn’t greater. 
 
Boston has been a top five team when it comes to assists this season, currently third in the league with 24.7 assists per game. In the past two games without Thomas, the Celtics’ assists numbers have risen to 26.5 per game, but that only ranks fifth in the league in that span.
 
When it comes to potential assists and secondary assists (a.k.a. the “hockey” assist), Boston’s numbers have improved slightly without Thomas as well, but in each category Boston is ranked second in the league. 
 
And that ranking is with, and without Thomas in the lineup. 
 
While it’s not clear if Thomas knows just how close the numbers in terms of ball movement are with and without him playing, he is acutely aware that there are some who believe they are a better team in terms of keeping the ball moving without him.
 
“I can’t control that,” Thomas told reporters on Friday. “At this point, I laugh about it. I know what I mean to my teammates. I know what I mean to this organization, to Brad Stevens.”