The Raptors played three games this week and managed to pull out only one, which was against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats. The other two were against a grind-it-out Celtics team and the streaking Heat. Neither of the losses were close and you have to wonder if the Raps are just not up to competing against the great teams yet; especially since there is no longer a chance for a playoff run.
Rudy Gay has only been the “Raptor of the Week” once since his arrival in the Big Smoke, which may surprise some people. And although his play this week was notable, scoring 28 against Charlotte and 27 against Miami, he has just been out shined by the most blue-collar guy on the squad.
Amir Johnson is taking the honours for a third straight week. And despite Rudy’s play, there really should be no argument at all. Amir has shown that he’s the life-blood of this team all season and he did it yet again this week, going all out against all three teams to do his best.
Amir’s best game this week was against the Bobcats, where he grabbed a career high 21 rebounds, as well as scoring 12 points, swatting 3 shots and coming up with 2 steals. He also shot a solid 5-11 for the game. Most importantly, he helped push his team to a win.
It’s not often you see a player have a 20+ rebound game and it’s great to see Amir get the first one of his career. He has been a beast on the boards as of late and is showing the potential as he keeps growing to be a future, regular double-double guy for the Raptors.
This week, Amir averaged 13ppg, 14.6rpg, 3spg and 1.6bpg. He shot 48.5% from the floor and played an average of 36.6 minutes per game.
This week just entailed more of the gritty work Johnson has been putting in all season. There will be more of these types of efforts in the future and that can only lead to better numbers as well. Amir is, although undersized, becoming a very reliable power forward. Dwane Casey knows what he’ll get from him each and every night.
So, for reaching a new career high and not praising himself in the slightest for it, Amir Johnson is your “Raptor of the Week”.