You can see why never-holds-back Stan Van Gundy likes his rookie Stanley Johnson.
For chunks of the first two games of the series, the Pistons’ Johnson has had to guard LeBron James — and this has been turn-it-up-to-11 playoff LeBron. He was 12-of-18 shooting for 27 points in the Cavaliers’ Game 2 win Tuesday.
But Johnson thinks he’s done well and after this latest loss he was talking plenty of smack, via Nick Friedell of ESPN.
“I’m definitely in his head, that’s for sure,” Johnson said…. “That’s for sure….
“He jabbers,” Johnson said of James. “He moves his mouth sometimes. Their whole team does, kind of like their little cheerleaders on the bench. Every time you walk in the right corner. They’re always saying something like they’re playing basketball, like they’re actually in the game. There’s only seven or eight players who play. I don’t see why the other players are talking. They might as well just be in the stands, in my opinion…
“I wish he would just talk when [the game] is 0-0, not when he’s up 16,” Johnson said. “I think that’s more — that means something. That means you’re confident in yourself. You believe what you’re about to do. Don’t talk after you made a couple shots. Anybody can do that.”
ESPN’s stats people tracked it, and LeBron was 6-of-6 shooting for 13 points with the rookie Johnson on him in Game 2. So sure kid, you’re in his head.
ESPN’s Friedell tweeted out the “I’m in his head” quote and Johnson retweeted it — you have to like that the rookie is so brash. Some day he’ll be able to back it up.