Pacific Notes: Johnson, Payne, George, LeBron

A return to the floor for Suns starting power forward Cameron Johnson appears to be imminent, reports Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Johnson has been sidelined for Phoenix since November 4 with a torn right meniscus that required surgery.

“Just sometime when I get back from the [team’s just-wrapped road trip], but I feel pretty good,” Johnson said when asked about his return timeline. “Taking it one day at a time right now, but I’m looking forward to getting back soon, very soon.”

In his eight healthy games this year, Johnson has averaged 13.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.8 APG and 1.1 SPG. The Suns have gone 15-21 since Johnson’s injury, though other major absences to Phoenix players have played a role in that record, too.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Suns reserve point guard Cameron Payne is set to have his right foot sprain reassessed later in January, Rankin notes (Twitter link). “I haven’t started doing anything,” Payne said. “I think [Monday] when I get back into Phoenix, we should be doing our next checkups and check off a few things for me to get back on the court.” Payne has played just twice since December 13.
  • Injured Clippers star forward Paul George has been cleared for full team practices, but head coach Tyronn Lue is unsure of an exact timeline for his return to the floor, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
  • All-Star Lakers forward LeBron James took to social media today to register his discontent about what he sees as inconsistent game officiating. “And all year they keep telling me to my face on the court, ‘I didn’t see it’ or ‘It wasn’t a [foul],'” James tweeted. “It’s not making sense to me seriously! Frustrating as hell man! Anyways keep going Squad!” James seemed particularly upset during L.A.’s two latest losses, to the Mavericks on Thursday and the Sixers Sunday.
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