For no apparent reason, former UC Santa Barbara superstar Orlando Johnson found himself out of the Indiana Pacers’ rotation when the team defeated the New York Knicks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday.
Johnson, a rookie originally from Northern California, has been a catalyst off the bench for the Pacers during the regular season, where he appeared in 51 games, averaging 12.1 minutes per contest and 4.0 points per game. In the playoffs, when teams typically cut their rotations down a man or two, he’s dwindled to 3.0 minutes per game in just four games.
He didn’t see any game action on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. He was hitting his stride as a pro and contributing valuable minutes down the stretch in the regular season, now he’s been relegated to the bench, collecting more DNPs than field goal attempts. Others have wondered the same thing:
Someone want to explain how Orlando Johnson lost his rotation spot?
— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) May 5, 2013
It’s going to be interesting to see how coach Frank Vogel proceeds and if he’ll continue to give the nod to other reserves like Sam Young, who notched just over five minutes in Game 1. We’d like to see more of Johnson — but then again, we’re a little biased. It’s what we do.
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