At the start of the season, it was looking like the San Antonio Spurs may have found their next star in the making. Lately, Keldon Johnson has been fading into the background. It’s way too early to say Johnson’s hot start was merely a fluke, as the 21-year-old has only logged 42 starts and 60 NBA games overall.
Still, it’s safe to say the league is no longer being caught off guard by the young forward. After logging six double-doubles through March 19th, Johnson has finished in single digits in the scoring column in five of the last seven games, only scoring five points in three of those. Because of this slow stretch, his scoring average of 13.7 for much of the year has dropped to 13.0.
Is the recent rough patch a result of his own play or more of a consequence of locked-on defenses? Put simply, the answer is both. A man who once was a nightly surprise for teams is now someone they focus on more intensely.
Luke Walton even expressly said his defense was going to pay special attention to him before Sacramento’s recent win in which they held Keldon to just seven points.
So what have opponents being doing differently?