Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gothic Ginobili: Lou Williams is Better Than You Think

The extended title to this post, if I wanted to try to cram it all in, would be "And I'm Not the Only Person Who Thinks the Hawks Will Be Good." On Gothic Ginobili, Aaron McGuire's capsule for Lou Williams describes a player who is misidentified as a chucker. Some of the relevant passages of this must-read:

While Lou Williams fits that general archetype of player, simply lumping him in with those folks is an incredibly stupid mistake. Despite having a very high usage rate year-after-year, Williams is absolutely amazing at taking care of the ball. Absolutely phenomenal at it. For the year, Williams put up a turnover percentage of 7.2%. To contextualize how good that is, among guards playing more than 20 minutes a night and playing more than 10 games in a single season, Lou’s full-season mark of 7.2% ranks 24th all-time. While Lou’s rebounding is rather crummy, his passing is (like Monta Ellis) relatively effective. And while it often seems like Williams chucks up shots with abandon when you watch him play, his free throw drawing talents combined with his effective stroke on isolation threes makes him a ridiculously efficient scorer, putting up a per-36 total of 21 points on 17 shots per game.

McGuire, who predicted an All-Star berth for Williams last year, goes on to say that Williams' arrival should keep the Hawks in contention for a middling playoff seed:

Yes, suffice to say, I think the Williams acquisition was a great steal for a Hawks team that should be a lot better than most people expect. If Horford stays healthy, Williams can pick up 90% of the slack from Joe Johnson at (literally) a fourth of the price. Devin Harris should strengthen their point guard rotation, and add a healthy Horford to that team, and you have exactly what you normally have — a solid 4-5 seed that’ll put up a fight. Except… with incoming cap space, instead of books locked down til the day I die.

It's good to see that I'm not alone in my prediction that, pending the acquisition of a starting small forward and getting Ivan Johnson under contract, the Hawks can again contend for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

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