Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Again, there's no real analysis in this series. I'll leave that to our formal player previews that will come. Don't expect a lot of stats or number crunching either. Just thoughts. Just feelings. Just getting back to writing from the fan side of me—talking about guys I like and guys I don't like. Things I'm excited about, and things that make me apprehensive. Eventually I'll cover just about everyone and everything.
Edits: Well, this is what happens when you write something, plan to post it later so that you have time to review everything, and then get so busy that you run out of time to review it. So this is probably a bit more down on Mo than it ought to be. At the same time, I feel like we need to remember who Mo Williams really has been. What kind of player he has been. We need to look beyond KOC's thing for him, past the rhetoric, and remember what Mo has and hasn't accomplished as a player. We also need to be honest with how he compares to the PG he has replaced.
Mo Williams, prior to the trade to the Clippers, was the leader and best player on the post-LeBron Cavs team that whimpered its way to 19 wins. The team's most recent All-Star.
Mo Williams, a player extolled this summer for his toughness, has spent all but three years (one as an infamously non-playing rookie for the Jazz, and two with LeBron's Cavs) starting for putrid defensive teams.
Mo Williams, a player nobody accuses of being an elite scorer, has taken more shots per 36 minutes for his career than Deron Williams, Chris Paul, and Steve Nash. More than John Stockton. More than Kevin Johnson. More than Magic Johnson (and Magic played for a team that had 11 more possessions per game than Mo's).
Mo Williams replaces a PG who (last year) shot better, scored more efficiently, assisted more, got to the line more, had a higher PER and significantly greater win shares.
And lest you blame it on Mo being used differently than was ideal for his game last year, Devin dealt with the same issue. So how about we look at their careers:
Mo Williams replaces a PG who was a year younger and (for his career) scores more efficiently, assists more, gets to the line more, has a higher PER and significantly greater win shares.
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No player on our team's roster makes me more wary and uneasy than Mo Williams.
A PG who shoots a lot, but does so a) ineffectively and b) while ignoring more effective teammates — that kind of PG always makes me frustrated.
We talk of "leadership" and "toughness" and all those fun words ... but you tell me when Mo Williams showed leadership and toughness. When LeBron left? When Milwaukee was pathetic year after year after year ... not because they had no talent, but because they didn't play defense—was that leadership and toughness? When he led the Clips to the lottery so another PG could waltz in and lead them to the playoffs the next year?
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We all know that Kevin O'Connor has been a little obsessed with Mo Williams: The One Who Got Away.
I'm stuck looking at him and kind of muttering to myself: Her? I mean really, what is it draws you to Mo Williams so much?
It's not that every player has to be great. The NBA ensures that no team can collect all the best talent. But when a guy is unaware that he's not as good as he thinks, when that guy happens to have the ball in his hands most of the time ...
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Well that's enough.
Worries aside, Mo is on our team. And like so much of the roster, he's a good player. Not a great one, but a good one. Like so many of of our vets, he's been on a lot of crummy teams and a few good ones.
I hope he can facilitate good shots for our most effective scorers. I hope his 3-point shot, his most consistently terrific skill, helps the team. I hope he has the self-awareness to back off his own shooting when he's surrounded by better scorers.
I do not expect him to be better than Devin. But I do hope he can fit a little better.
For better or for worse, Mo's our guy.