Lou Williams to the Rockets Should Terrify the Rest of the NBA
Just two days before the trade deadline, the Houston Rockets made a big trade receiving 11-year veteran, Lou Williams, from the Los Angeles Lakers for Corey Brewer and a first round pick.
Lou Williams won the Sixth Man of the Year Award in the 2014-2015 NBA season with the Toronto Raptors. Williams averaged a career-best 15.5 points, 2.1 assists in 25.2 minutes coming off the bench behind DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. Williams will be joining a roster that has a former Sixth Man of the Year Award winner (james Harden) and the current leader for this year’s award(Eric Gordon). This means that the Rockets could end the season with 3 winners of this award, which, has never been done before.
Williams will be making the transition from “Trusting the Process” with the rebuilding Lakers, to going on a championship run with the Rockets. While the Lakers have been mediocre this year, Williams averaged 18.6 points, 3.2 assists in 24.2 minutes a game. That is up 3.1 points and up 1.1 assists while playing 1 minute less a game from his Sixth Man of the Year Award winning season.
Now you put him on a team coming off the bench alongside Eric Gordon, are you kidding me? Imagine this: you have Eric Gordon over on the right baseline, Lou Williams on the left, Harden at the top of the key on a pick and roll with Nene or Capela. If you stop Harden, he will kick it to an open Williams or Gordon; if you don’t stop Harden, he will just drive into the paint and either draw a foul or finish the bucket. Then, think about how this lineup is allowing key starters to get rest while still applying pressure. Mike D’Antoni now has another deadly weapon coming off the bench to add to his 3-point barrage who can easily put up 20 points on any given night.
That being said, Lou Williams isn’t just a 3-point shooter. He is great at attacking the basket and passing the ball to the open man as well. Williams will be able to take some of the playmaking responsibility away from James Harden. If Harden is having an off night, Williams has the capability to find his own shot. We saw evidence of this in just his first game with the Rockets where Harden only had 13 points and Williams had 27 points against the Pelicans.
Now, let’s get back to the fact that the Rockets could potentially have three Sixth Man of the Year Award winners on one team. This is what really sets Houston apart from the rest of the NBA. If you look at winners of this award over the past decade, you come across names such as: Mike Miller, Leandro Barbosa, Manu Ginobili, Jason Terry, Lamar Odom and J.R. Smith. Whom all played a major role on a championship winning team. These are the dudes that you rely on, that come out and play their heart out every second, of every minute that they are in the game. These are the dudes that play with a chip on their shoulder and feel like they have something to prove each and every night. These are the dudes you want on your team.
Houston currently sits at 3rd in the west, 8 games back on the Warriors for first place and 2.5 games behind the Spurs for second. The Rockets could potentially have to go through OKC, San Antonio and Golden State to make it to the NBA Finals which would be a very, very tough road. However, Houston has now refueled with an 11-year vet in Lou Williams and are gaining steam heading into the playoffs. Look for them to make a real run at a championship this year.
Sources: NBA, ESPN, Basketball Reference, Land of Basketball