For the season, Lou Williams’ averages look relatively pedestrian. Much of that is due to the fact that he’s playing far fewer minutes per game, but even per-36 minutes, Williams is scoring less, dishing our fewer assists, and shooting worse from the field.
The Clippers don’t rely on Williams as much as they used to with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard assuming larger playmaking roles. Luke Kennard is also on the roster as another creator off the bench. And there has been reporting that the Clippers were deliberately slow-playing Williams’ ramp up this year so that he would be fresher in the playoffs.
Regardless of the reasons, it has been strange to see Lou not look like Lou. But over the past five games, now that he’s moved beyond some hip issues that hampered him earlier in the year, the three-time Sixth Man of the Year has finally resembled the part.
Williams has set season-highs in scoring each of the last two games and also made 15 trips to the foul line in the process. He’s averaging 4.6 assists per game in addition to his 17.4 points while making more than half of his shots, including half of his threes, while leading the Clippers in steals.
Last night against the Wolves, the Clippers came out sluggish and needed the lift Williams provided to stay within contact during the first half. His eight first-quarter points prevented the game from getting out of hand early, and he helped close the game out with 13 points in the final period when he hit all six of his field-goal attempts.
It’s unclear how long the Clippers will be without George and in need of Williams to continue to show out like this. The good news is that he’s once again capable of doing so.
More news for Thursday:
- This is a good trade deadline primer from The Ringer.
- Seth Curry talked about his continued recovery from COVID-19.
- The Athletic drafted players from previous eras who would succeed in the modern game. It’s really fun.
- After it was made public that the Dallas Mavericks hadn’t played the national anthem at any of their home games this season, the NBA reiterated its mandate that all arenas play the anthem prior to games.
- The NBA is moving forward with adding skills competitions to its All-Star event on March 7.
- A genuine Kawhi Leonard smile! Make sure to watch all the way through.
"He said he was shocked? Nah, not at all. A lot of times, we're throwing it late, but I was able to still go on the run, get it, and throw it down. I don't know why he said that. I'm gonna have to talk to him."— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) February 11, 2021
Kawhi Leonard when I asked about Terance Mann's alley-oop. pic.twitter.com/UVUUEVGtwE