Watch CBS News

Amir Johnson Just Focused On Getting Win Against Former Team

BOSTON (CBS) -- In just his second game with the Boston Celtics, Amir Johnson is already gearing up to face his former team.

But don't think Friday night's game against the Raptors is anything but just another game for the new Celtics' forward.

"Go out there and play hard, pretty much get the win. It's simple," Johnson told reporters Thursday.

Johnson spent the last six seasons with Toronto, helping them win back-to-back Atlantic Division titles following Boston's run with the "New Big 3." When the Raptors decided to move on this offseason he signed a two-year deal with the Celtics, saying Boston presented the best fit for him and his family.

"The organization just wanted to make changes, switch it up and see what they could do different. But we accomplished a lot together, winning our conference two years," he said of his time in Toronto. "Especially since our franchise player, Chris Bosh, left [for Miami in 2010], we constantly grew as a team."

Growing with his former teammates will now give him a little extra edge Friday night, when the Raptors come to Boston for the first of four matchups with the C's. Johnson knows their preferences on the floor, and will try to relay as much as he can to his new teammates.

"I'll be a lot more talkative on the floor because I know what guys like to do," he said. "It's going to be big, just knowing their tendencies, knowing which way they like to come off the screen and shoot the ball."

Of course, it'll also lead to some friendly (and possibly some not-so-friendly) jabbing on the court as well.

"There will be a lot of trash talking between me and the guys," said Johnson, "but it will be fun."

Johnson came off the bench in his Boston debut, providing some energy after a slow start against the 76ers. The 10-year veteran made a big impact with 15 points and seven rebounds in his 20 minutes on the floor, but his contributions go much deeper than just the box score. That's something Johnson prides himself on. While he had a big night on the offensive end of the floor, it's his defense that really gets Johnson going. He was a plus-16 on the floor with a pair of blocks Wednesday night.

"My main thing is defense first, so anything I can do to protect the basket or get myself going, it starts on defense," he said.

Whether on the offensive or defensive end of the floor, Johnson just wants to give his new team as big a boost as he can.

"Our goal as our bench is to come in and bring energy, no matter what," he said. "If the first group doesn't have it going we always have to get it going, and we did that [Wednesday night]."

The Raptors pose a much bigger challenge than the 76ers, so Friday night will be a good barometer of how this year's Celtics match up with a division foe.

With the Boston Bruins also in action Friday night, tune in to Celtics-Raptors game on WZLX 100.7FM (see the list of games on WZLX here). Pregame coverage with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell begins at 7pm!

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.