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The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled mightily to show consistent energy and effort for 48 minutes, so when Stanley Johnson took the floor in his debut, it didn’t take long for him to insert himself as a key presence.

Johnson, who is signed on a 10-day contract, played 27 minutes against the Brooklyn Nets. Despite the tough loss, he stood out in every minute he played.

The 25-year-old forward provided constant energy, which is a trait the Lakers haven’t been accustomed to this season. He was all over the court on defense, especially when trying to contain James Harden.

After the game, LeBron James praised Johnson for the way he played.

“Energy and effort, and I thought Stanley was phenomenal,” LeBron said. “Just taking the challenge on James (Harden) and obviously, James did what he does, but I think he just took the challenge.”

Johnson, who had played for the South Bay Lakers in the G League this season, explained how he fit in almost seamlessly despite fouling five times.

“I think it’s pretty easy. I kind of ask some questions and knew what was expected of me. I like to say that I can play defense at a high level,” Johnson said. “I’ve got to be smart with the fouls. I’m very confident in that part of my game. I’ve been doing that for a while, pretty strong.”

Johnson said he can improve on his performance after watching the film with the coaching staff. He proved he needs to be on the court because the Lakers fed off of his energy, so it’ll be interesting to see how many minutes he gets the next time out.


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