It's time to take a look back on the 2008-2009 season, and assess how each player performed. More importantly, though, I want to pay close attention to how the pieces on this young team progressed. First up is Lou Williams. Stats, trends, highlights and lowlights after the jump.
This was an extremely tough call. Lou didn't really have a standout game, mostly because he almost never shot the ball well and contributed in other areas. I'm going to pick his game @ Golden State on March 20th. Lou finished with 20 points, 6 boards, 6 assists, 5 steals and 0 turnovers. He went to the line 11 times, but only managed to shoot 5/17 from the floor.
Again, a tough decision, but I'm going with @ OKC on March 8th. Lou scored 8 points in 23 minutes, grabbed 1 board, dished out 2 assists and turned the ball over 5 times. He shot 3/11 from the floor, 0/2 from three and 2/5 from the line.
When you look at the team's overall record, you see a moderate improvement of one win, year-over-year. When you take a more holistic view of the season, and factor in the Elton Brand injury, the coaching change, you probably see a little more improvement than that. Personally, I think Lou Williams' slide into mediocrity held this team back all season long.
Whether it was due to an asinine role the team forced on him (we all remember the quotes from early in the season, "You're a scorer."), or just simply an immature guy given too much freedom without enough responsibility is anyone's guess. I assume it was a combination of the two. Take a look at the numbers above, Lou got appreciably worse in almost every key statistic, yet he was allowed to dominate the ball even more than in 07-08. He shoots too much, turns the ball over too much, misses too many shots and doesn't really contribute in any other area. His only statistical strength is the ability to get to the line.
If Ed Stefanski has really received calls from other GMs interested in Lou, I think it's time for him to pick up the phone and make something happen. Lou has upside, he's shown flashes, but I just don't see it happening, not here. He seems like a nice kid, even if his image of his game is deluded, but I just don't see where he fits long term. It would be a different story if he could regain his three-point touch from a year ago (35.9%), but he fell off to the point where he was a liability from deep. I'd take a player with less flash and less potential who could take care of the ball and knock down an occasional shot over Lou at this point.
As always, leave your thoughts in the comments.