Terrence Williams is averaging 13 ppg so far in the month of March. Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images Rookie Rankings: Williams showing signs of potential
Posted Mar 10 2010 8:51AM
Terrence Williams has had an up-and-down rookie season with the Nets.
Taken with the 11th pick after playing four seasons at Louisville, Williams began the season as a regular in the Nets' rotation, averaging 27.0 minutes in New Jersey's first 17 games. Of course, the Nets lost their first 18 and Williams saw his minutes dwindle with each passing month.<!-- REAP --><!--startclickprintexclude--> <!--endclickprintexclude--><!-- /REAP -->
In four games this month, the Nets have given Williams a shot -- and he's shown flashes of what Rick Pitino (his coach at Louisville) called "freakish" athleticism. Williams, in 29.5 minutes per game, is averaging 13.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
"He's been carrying over what he's been doing in practice into the games," Nets point guard Devin Harris told NJNets.com. "You want him playing with that attack-type mentality, getting to the basket, making passing, make some jump shots. We want him to play that type basketball because he's very good when he plays that way. Hopefully he'll continue to do those type things."
Harris' comments came after Williams scored a career-high 21 points with five rebounds and seven assists while playing 32 minutes of the Nets' 111-92 loss to the Cavs last Wednesday. Williams followed that with 14 points in a loss to the Magic; three points (with 11 rebounds and seven assists) in the Nets' win over New York; and 14, six and six in a loss to the Grizzlies.
Nets GM and coach Kiki Vandeweghe was impressed with Williams' performance against Cleveland -- especially while guarding LeBron James -- and saw the talented player they hoped for<!-- REAP --><!--startclickprintexclude--> <!--tablemaker-->
|Terrence Williams' rookie season|
"Terrence has been playing very good defense," Vandeweghe said. "He's been playing with focus and energy. He scored points tonight, which is great. But he also had five rebounds and seven assists. He played hard. He's hopefully what we've come to expect: somebody who can come off the bench, who can come in and spark us and change the energy."
For Williams, the adjustment to the pro game has been what he calls "rocky."
"I really didn't know what to expect," Williams said last week. "I tried to come here and use the same game that I used in college, but my shot wasn't falling. I had to re-evaluate myself as a player and change my game to moreso going to the hole, but still do the other little things that I do and love to do, as far as, like, passing, playing D and rebounding."
If Williams continues to see playing time -- and really, why wouldn't the Nets let their rookie run? -- expect him to only improve.