Lakers Nation Debate: How Can Wesley Johnson Get On Track?
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Topic: We wonder what Wesley Johnson needs to do to turn things around for himself this season.

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Context: At the end of last year, many assumed the Lakers wouldn’t even re-sign Wesley Johnson. On a team full of young wings, Johnson seemed like worst of the bunch behind players like Jodie Meeks, Kent Bazemore, Xavier Henry and Nick Young. Finding himself out of the rotation at different times throughout the year, it looked as if Johnson would be playing somewhere else.

But once free agency began to clear up, the Lakers found themselves with no small forwards on the roster, allowing them to give the physically gifted Johnson another chance on a one-year minimum contract.

Johnson took this opportunity seriously as he spent ample time working out with Kobe Bryant in the off-season. As training camp came around, both Bryant and head coach Byron Scott were singing Johnson’s praises as someone who could have a breakout season.

Verdict: We went to Twitter and asked the loyal Lakers Nation followers, what does Wesley Johnson need to do to turn things around this season? These are some of the responses:

The fans have spoken, and have listed off a number of ways in which Johnson can help himself and the Lakers. Some are already done with Johnson saying the best way for him to help is to be traded, but there are still some things he can do that the Lakers need.

First and foremost, he must figure out things on the defensive end. He has all of the tools to be a lockdown defender and even if his offense is struggling, his defense should never falter. Stopping the opposing team’s best player is something he has to take pride in doing.

Offensively, the fans are calling for Johnson to attack the basket more and they are right on the money. One fan compared Johnson to Shawn Marion which is a perfect one. Like Marion, Johnson won’t have many plays called for him, but he can be effective by slashing without the ball and using his athleticism to crash the boards, and then hit open jumpers when they are there.

Most importantly for Johnson though is his confidence. Kobe spoke about how hard Johnson is on himself, and it shows at times when he gets down if he struggles early. Johnson must realize that he is a vital part of this team and fight through the tough times, otherwise he will continue to falter.


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