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Early Predictions: Lou Williams

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speekeasy on Aug 17 at 0:42
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I always felt Lou could contribute to a contending team as the first guard off the bench. But that's probably not true because he'll never put in enough consistent effort to become an above average defender. Like you said, he needs to get back to attacking the rim more this year. I saw way too many pump-fake jump shots last season.
How long is he under contract for? (still afraid about Stefanski handing out huge contracts that will cripple our future)

Same length as Brand's deal, 2 more years after this one.

I understand and agree with the criticism many people have for Lou's game. But overall, I think he is a good fit for this team. He undeniably is not a "pure PG" but definitely is PG size. But at least he does not simply jack up shots. His TS% has always been good for an undersized combo guard, and he puts a ton of pressure on a defense.

As much as you need players who can score well within an offense, every team needs a few guys who can score on their own, even if the set offense is bogged down. This is even more the case for the Sixers, who lack a dominant big or high scoring star wing. That is what separates Lou from a guy like Meeks- who might turn into a better scorer within a set offense, but can't break people down at will like Lou.

More importantly, this team has wings with point skills in Iguodala and Turner. That allows them to play alongside Lou and cover some of Lou's substandard PG instincts. And Lou's improved 3pt shot makes him less of a shooting liability than he was in the past (hopefully this continues.)

Lou is still a young player. He won't completely change, but he should still be improving. And for a player coming off his most productive year- that is a promising thing. He should never be your starting PG. He probably should not be getting more than 25 minutes a game. But I certainly think he is a much more needed piece of the puzzle than most concede- and would hate to see him dumped simply to clear his MLE contract.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Aug 17 at 8:02
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I agree with Brian, that the one area he really slipped last year was FTA. He went to the line 4.4/36min last year- down from 7.7/36min the year before. That's a big drop for a guy with a 84% FT%, and is an area that needs to re-emerge.

Otherwise, he was a really productive- and even efficient- scorer last year. And his A/TO and usage was reasonable given his role.

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MylesKong on Aug 17 at 8:44
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I agree with pretty much all of the analysis above.
I think Lou compliments our other guards pretty well because most can handle the ball and make plays. I think it would be a big mistake to see Lou on the floor with Meeks for any extended periods. Unless, they are going really, really small. He may have had too much responsibility last year, but I was expecting him to emerge as the new Jason Terry. I'll defer that thought for this season.

Brian, quick question for you re: the order of these Early Predictions posts: are they based on the players potential impact? For instance, since Lou came after Brand in the series, is he a more important player in your eyes? Important being a loaded word with lots of possible meanings of course...

Or is it simply a G,F,G,F thing?

Great work as always.

There was really no reason for the order, other than saving the only three guys that matter for last.

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Tom Moore on Aug 17 at 10:12
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Link to today's story on Brand and Collins' hands-on approach with his players:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/news_details/article/126/2010/august/17/collins-reaching-out-to-sixers-players-1.html

Tom, good story; by the way does anybody else find it interesting that a very good defensive player, M.Curry, was the coach Collins sent to visit Lou and Thad, the seeds are being planted early.

I find it interesting that Curry got 17 guys together to scrimmage with Lou.

LET ME SEE YO' GRILLLLLLLZ

Brian, Collins has said more than once this summer that Turner!s playmaking skills will allow him to let Lou play off the ball, where he is at his best. I expect Meeks' minutes to occur with Jrue on the floor, for the most part and Meeks spent time over the summer bringing the ball up also so it will be fun to watch the backcourt rotations. If Lou can shoot the percentages you listed he may be too valuable to trade because if he hits the 3 than he works with Turner.

My hope is he and Thad can become a lethal bench combination and Collins can eventually add 3 solid role players, Elton next year?, to compliment their skills.

Whats up with that pic of Lou? he looks like frankenstein!

It's from when he broke his jaw and they wired it shut last season.

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TruePhan on Sep 4 at 10:21
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First off, I'd like to mention that I genuinely think Lou Williams is a good guy. The work he's doing in the community and the supposed reasons he's doing it makes me believe that. The fact remains though that he is a lazy basketball player with a delusional ego and an attitude problem.

I'm not going to deny his potential. Infact, it's his potential that causes me to harp on him, along with things like idiots who think he's better than Iguodala or who try to compare him to Iverson. Iverson grew up playing real playground ball against grown men, not AAU. For better or worse, Iverson is "real" and was shaped by how he grew up and the life he's lived. The only player who is anything like Iverson is Jennings. Infact, Jennings will probably be better than AI because he is a more complete player.

Now, again, to be fair, Lou hasn't been the same player since he almost cracked his head open when getting fouled on his way to the hole in that NY game. That kind of thing can shellshock you, and it did him. He used to be fearless before that, driving to the rim for the dunk or foul on almost every play the ball was in his hands but he is very rarely like that anymore. Also to be fair, Lou shouldn't have ever been asked to play the point at any time in any game, and especially not expected to run an offense. The Sixers should've known better. Lou is simply a scorer and should always be treated as such. He should never be depended on to set anybody up or to make anything but stupid decisions, even on the fastbreak. He should not be given the ball until he is in a position to score.

The Sixers really need to stop trying to fit square pegs into round holes. It ruins whatever potential a player has and it's exactly what the Eagles and Phillies do.

Lou has a very high ceiling but I'm not including him in the "young core" because the fact is that if he isn't as perfect and complete a player as he can be, he has no potential. The way he's been playing, he wouldn't be in the NBA right now if he hadn't been drafted out of HS. He can't afford to not maximize his potential because he isn't gifted enough nor does he have enough of a natural feel for the game. He is a project player in the truest sense and the only reason for him to be worth that contract is if he seriously expands, refines, and perfects his offensive repertoire. He has all the potential in the world to be a dynamic scorer and a nightmare on defense but potential doesn't mean a damn thing if you don't somebody actually fulfill it.

Collins needs to check Lou. He needs to play him off the ball, and to sit him down, tell him that when he gets the ball in his hands he has to make a quick decision to either drive or shoot and nothing else, and when he drives he better finish. He needs to hit him with the reality of where he actually ranks in the league versus where he thinks he ranks, and then inspire him by telling him where he could rank if he dropped the attitude and ego and put the work in to get better, as well as the effort to actually play defense instead of going for steals.

Lou is obsessed with stats, and what Collins needs to explain to Lou is that if he stops giving a crap about stats and focuses on playing the right way on both ends of the floor, he'll have much better, more meaningful, and more efficient stats. More importantly, he'll go from being a liability to being a damn good 6th man who is as essential to this team as Manu Ginobli is to the Spurs.

This may very well be Lou's last year of having any potential if he doesn't grow up though.


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