3 things that would take Keldon Johnson to the next level
3. Defensive Effort
The last area of improvement is relatively self-explanatory. Defense might seem optional with the unrivaled scoring numbers teams posted this year, but title contenders are elite on both ends. Some stars may not be above-average stoppers, but most are at least serviceable. As for Keldon, he has struggled to make a positive impact on this side of the ball.
Johnson misses weakside rotations, cutters creep backdoor when he gets caught ball-watching, and his activity as a helper is low. Most of his faults as a team defender stem from inconsistent effort and poor awareness. He can address both shortcomings this offseason, and spending extra time in the film room could go a long way toward improving the latter.
His off-ball defense is a liability, and his on-ball defense isn't much better. Keldon let opponents shoot 52.4% this season, the fourth-worst mark out of the 143 players that faced at least 700 shots. He is too heavy-footed to cover most guards and too small to bother fours and fives. Continuing the weight-loss program from last summer may be the best approach.