But I’m most intrigued to see how Lou Williams fits. He’s a very effective scorer but, if he’s going to remain in a role similar to the one he filled in Philly, he may need to play alongside either Harris or Teague.
“I was off the ball [in Philadelphia], I would prefer to be off the ball, and I think both of those guys [Teague and Harris] are on the ball,” Williams said. “So I don’t think it will be an issue as much as people think it is. Once we open up camp I’m sure Coach [Larry] Drew will do a good job in figuring out where everyone is going to go.”
I can’t see any reason why the Hawks would want Williams to change up his game. What’s not to like?
For three seasons Williams was the best kind of bench scorer for the Sixers: high usage, high production and good-to-reasonable efficiency while playing just 26.3 minutes per game. He did all of that while helping the Sixers defensively.
But he’s better making something happen off the dribble.
“More attacking than catch-and-shoot,” Williams said. “Actually catch-and-shoot is one of the things I’ve been able to work on this whole summer. Coming down in transition and catching the ball and shooting, instead of catching and trying to create so much off the dribble.”
Williams may prefer to play off the ball but it’s not as if he can’t play the point.
According to Synergy Sports Technology, Williams used 30 percent of his possessions in 2011-12 as the screen-roll ballhandler and scored .94 points per possession (19th in the league) while drawing fouls 11 percent of the time on those plays. Last season, screen-roll ballhandler was Williams’ most-frequent play type used and second-most efficient behind spot-ups (12 percent of possessions used, .96 points per possession). Williams posted similar numbers in 2010-11 and 2009-10.
Williams’ career assist rate is low (though higher than Joe Johnson’s) but his turnover rate is ridiculously low. That’s particularly impressive because of Williams’ willingness to create contact; not many guards get to the free-throw line as effectively as Williams, and he’s made free throws at better than 81 percent for three consecutive seasons.
Williams said he patterned his game after former Sixers teammate Allen Iverson.
“The whole time you are in the game be aggressive and don’t take plays off,” Williams said. “I think that’s one of the things I learned from A.I. Watching him, he didn’t take plays off. He always took contact, initiated it and he didn’t shy away from it being a small guard.”
Williams also attributes his foul magnetism to a nifty ball fake: “I got that from Andre Miller. He’s got one of the best pump fakes in the world.”
Perhaps Williams can run the point for the second unit and just focus on scoring. As mentioned, he’s very effective playing off screens and he’s also a very good isolation player: his Synergy efficiency league ranks on those plays the past three seasons were 61st, 49th, and 30th. Williams’ isolations aren’t the ball-stopping kind.
If Williams plays more minutes for the Hawks than he did for the Sixers, it will be interesting to see if he can remain an efficient, impact scorer even with a lower usage rate (probable if he plays a lot of minutes with the starters).
“In the past, in Philadelphia my role was to come in the game and just light it up and score as many points as I possibly could,” Williams said. “Talking to Coach Drew and talking to Danny I think my role will be similar, if not increased. Obviously you have Devin [and] you have Jeff, who are very talented guards, and then you add myself into that mode.
“I have always been a team player, a team guy. I don’t plan on coming in here competing with these guys negatively. I think we all can contribute.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat