By Evan Kaplan
Name: Johan Petro
Weight: 247 lbs.
Birth Date: January 27, 1986 (age 24)
Birth Place: Paris, France
Drafted: 25th pick of the First Round in 2005 by the Seattle Supersonics
Experience: 5 years
Contract: $3.25 million
This is not exactly the strong point of Johan Petro’s game, though his athleticism should allow him to get some easy buckets. Entering his sixth season in the NBA, he still has very few solid post moves. Petro averaged 6.2 points in 81 games during the 2006-07 season and has a career average of 5.1 points in 16.7 minutes per game.
Johan does not take a tremendous number of jumpers, but his shooting percentage is quite respectable, despite his reputation as a liability on the offensive end. He shot over 50% from the field in 3 of his first 5 seasons. Petro started for the Nuggets in Game 6 of the team’s 2010 First Round Playoff series against the Jazz, as Nene was out with an injury. Kevin Arnovitz of TrueHoop noted before that game that Petro shot 46% (17-37) from between 10 feet and the three-point arc in 2009-10.
Petro is a decent free throw shooter for a big man, with a career 66.1 percentage from the charity stripe. He has been up over 60% each season in his NBA career, except part of 2008-09 with the Nuggets, when he inexplicably dipped to 42.9% from the line.
The Nets first preseason game was against Maccabi Haifa, but if Johan Petro can mirror that performance this season for the Nets, he will be very effective on the offensive end. He scored 10 points off the bench on 5 of 7 shooting, and he’s the type of guy who can sneak up on teams if they simply leave him alone and double other players.
As an athletic guy who does not have a strong offensive repertoire, Johan Petro should be a defensive force. But despite being over 7-feet tall, his career numbers do not reflect that. He has never averaged 1 block per game (his career high was 0.8 in his rookie season in 05-06). Johan’s defensive rebounding numbers have also been none too impressive in his five-year career. He averaged a career-high 3.8 boards in 2007-08 with Seattle in 18.2 minutes per game.
Petro’s athleticism should allow him to be more effective on the defensive end and Avery Johnson would like to see his backup center make an impact on defense when giving Brook Lopez a spell.
Johan Petro’s Twitter Account, Frenchi27, started out as a joke with a former teammate and he now has more than 300,000 followers. The native of France often tweets in French to stay in touch with his homeland. He is a lover of music who DJ’s in his spare time and plays the bass guitar.
Sebastian said back in July when the Nets first acquired Johan Petro that Nets fans should not think about his contract when determining how effective he will be. I agree completely, because we all know it was an outrageous contract. There is no way a backup center that has proven nothing but inconsistency in his career should be paid $3.25 million a year. But let’s put that aside for a second.
Petro has the type of athleticism that should thrive in Avery Johnson’s up-and-down system, and his offensive game should see increased production. Johan’s career shooting percentage is actually quite respectable and as long he takes quality shots, it should continue to improve. On the defensive end, Petro will be relied upon to slow down opposing big men when Brook needs a break.
The Nets are expecting Johan Petro to come off the bench and play about 15 minutes a night. If he can play with high energy, get some garbage buckets and be solid on the defensive end, the Nets will be happy with their investment (despite the contract).
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