PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Cam Johnson has renewed shot confidence, added experience

Sep 28, 2021, 1:08 PM
JUNE 28: Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns and Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers tangle duri...
JUNE 28: Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns and Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers tangle during the second half in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 28, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Last season’s NBA Finals run gave everyone on the Phoenix Suns plenty of learning experiences to take into the upcoming 2021-22 season. Forward Cameron Johnson is no exception.

Part of his learning experience last year started even before the playoffs began when his outside shooting began to slip.

Johnson shot 31% from beyond the arc after the all-star break, a 7% dip from his form before the break. He only shot 30% from three-point range throughout April and May.

He sat out the final six regular season games in order to let a right wrist injury fully heal.

Johnson told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday that allowing some time to heal played a critical role in his playoff production.

“Giving the wrist some time to heal and getting back in the gym and just repping it out and finding some success behind the three-point line was very important to me during the playoff stretch,” Johnson said.

When Johnson came back for the playoffs, so did his shooting stroke. He shot 50% from the floor throughout the 2021 NBA Playoffs in his postseason debut.

He gave the Suns quality postseason production from the bench with 8.2 points and 3.1 rebounds per game during the playoffs.

Johnson said he watched film from the Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks more than enough times to figure out what worked and, perhaps more importantly, what did not work. His film study gave him lessons from a wider perspective in addition to his own shot.

In the end, he learned that a small amount of time can mean everything.

“What you learn is that one minute, one-and-a-half minutes, two minutes of gameplay can have so much of an impact on how a series goes,” Johnson said. “It really stresses the importance of late-game execution and execution throughout the series. You really are forced to pay a lot of attention to detail.”

Overall, he said that having experience in a playoff atmosphere will help him become more comfortable in the future.

“To be able to play in that environment I think is the biggest thing for me,” Johnson said. “That knowledge [and] that experience I think will benefit me in the long run and just goes a long way in building comfort on the court and understanding where plays come from and how things happen.”

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