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Summer League Game 1: Lots of James Johnson

Didn't watch the game, but it sounds like Bulls Rookie James Johnson was impressive while putting up his line of 21 and 8 in 37 minutes. With the overall impression that whether he plays 4 or 3 with the Bulls, he's certainly coming in with the ability (and perhaps the mindset) of a 3.

Lots of second-hand analysis after the jump...

Doug Thonus of ChicagoNow:

On offense he was knocking down his jumpers, finishing at the basket, leading the break, and made great passes all night. All in all, about the only negatives I could say about his game offensively is that he seemed to struggle to get involved off the ball, and that he looked pretty awkward in the post during the one post up attempt I saw.

Defensively, Johnson was a bit more suspect. He lost focus on his man a few times even if his man didn't necessarily make him pay for it. He seemed to struggle with Joe Ingles size at times, though again, Ingles didn't necessarily make him pay. It wasn't a terrible performance, but it was enough to give you a little pause on how Johnson will fit defending the four.

Doug also has a quick QandA with Johnson.

Didn't read Sam Smith yet, but I assume he's just happy the rookies are more polite to him than Tyrus Thomas is.

Johnson handled the ball very well. There aren't many players, if any in the NBA, who can handle the ball like he can. He handled the ball for the Bulls often in the half court, but also in the full court, where he led multiple Bulls' fastbreaks, many of which were successful. He also showed the ability in the half court to take his man off the dribble, and finish off his dribble drive move. 

(I'll assume he means 'many players in the NBA his size who can...')

David Thorpe tweeting during the game:

-James Johnson with the best hesitation move of the week for a bucket.
-Johnson has scored on a great dribble move, a sweet jumper, and a post flash to the middle of the paint. Very, very nice.
-I understand why the Bulls drafted Johnson. But not Gibson.
-I think Ben Gordon taught Johnson how to shoot before jetting up the road. His arc is pro perfect.

Finally, some exclusive SBNation James Johnson audio (mp3), courtesy of Stan of BrightSideoftheSun, who's been in Vegas all week. He also passed along these thoughts:

I really like this kid. Great head on his shoulders and a very impressive game. Check the box score...he was very impressive. Just smart on the floor. Played much more on the wing then in the post. Showed solid handle. Good passing. And as you will hear he's incredibly bright and polite. He's a guy that your fans are really going to embrace...