I can't believe how much confidence D'Antoni has in JJ.. but with the way he's playing, it's hard to blame him. I love JJ's quiet, determined demeanor.. perfect for a young swingman..“I just think he’s much more confident,” said Head Coach Mike D’Antoni. “He sees the ball more and he’s able to relax and play his game. If you ever see him in September and August, he’s unbelievable because he’s running his game; he’s getting the ball in his hands. So, we just created a situation where it’s like a September and he has his team out there, and he’s putting them through the paces, and he’s responded unbelievably.”
D’Antoni likens Johnson’s low-key demeanor to another “average Joe” from the late 1980s, who led by example and helped lead his team to two consecutive NBA titles.
“I would just point to (former Pistons' guard) Joe Dumars,” D’Antoni said. “I doubt Joe Dumars said two words his whole career and he was one of the best leaders the NBA has ever seen. I would think Joe (Johnson) is in the same mold as he is.”
“To me, leadership is not what you say. He doesn’t have to say anything. He comes out, he practices hard every day and he does exactly what the coaches want him to do every day. He plays as hard as he can for 48 minutes every game. He doesn’t have to say anything.”
“I think that we’re starting to see Joe mature right in front of us,” center Jake Voskuhl said. “I think as you get older, you begin to play at a higher level more consistently. That’s what every player strives to do and I think we’re seeing that right now. We’re seeing him really mature as a player and I’m really excited for him.”