IVAN Johnson may be having his own battle with Talk ‘N Text in the coming PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Rain or Shine.
Yet at the same time, he’s also rooting for his former team as it faces its own battle in the NBA.
Johnson said he likes the Atlanta Hawks’ chances of winning the title this year as they are bound to finish as the top seed in the Eastern Conference – and second overall behind Golden State – to earn homecourt advantage in the entire playoffs.
As of posting time, the Hawks own a 60-19 (win-loss) record and are in a strong position to win their first ever championship since 1958.
“They have good chances, they’re a solid team. They have all the pieces,” said the 31-year-old Johnson, who played for the Hawks from 2011-13.
“They really, really have a very good chance.”
The 6-foot-8 Talk ‘N Text import said he remains in contact with some of his former teammates at Atlanta, mentioning the likes of Jeff Teague, Al Horford, and Mike Scott.
“Most of these guys are still cool with me,” said the native of San Antonio, Texas.
Johnson admitted most of the guys at Atlanta are new, almost two years since he left the team.
But during that same short stretch, the American also bared the NBA has changed a lot, too.
“The big man is needed no more. Everybody’s stepping out and shooting. It’s not really a banging type of league now,” said Johnson.
He added the pair of Horford and Paul Millsap, along with Teague, make the Hawks a very dangerous team in the playoffs.
“With them having Millsap and Horford for the big man situation (is a big factor). On the guard situation, there’s nobody in the NBA that can guard Teague,” said Johnson.
The Talk ‘N Text reinforcement, a strong candidate for the Best Import award, scored his NBA career-high of 21 points against the Toronto Raptors on April 16, 2012 while suiting up for the Hawks.