The Starting Shooting Guard Should Be… Terrence Williams

With four of the starting positions seemingly locked down, the only real point of roster contention seems to be at the shooting guard position between free agent signing Anthony Morrow and second-year Nets player Terrence Williams. Today, Dennis and Devin look at the case for both players.

Terrence Williams has to be the most polarizing New Jersey Nets player right now.  Should he start or come off the bench?  Should he play some point guard or stay exclusively at the two or three?  Should the Nets trade him or keep him for his big-time potential?  Let the debate begin.Of course, we are assuming that Williams isn’t traded, specifically for Carmelo Anthony, and will still ply his trade with the Nets once the 2010-11 NBA season begins.  As mentioned millions of times before, “T-Will has a load of talent and potential,” a comment quickly followed by, “It’s just a matter of it coming together.”  I believe this to be true and the Nets should just go full-blown in regards to Williams and his development.  Give the man some burn on the court!  It’s the only way to truly see what T-Will can truly do.

Obviously, as we’ve seen when he does get the time, Williams does very well.  Looking at his top two months in regards to minutes per game average, in his second-best month (29:53), in 15 March games, T-Will averaged 14.1 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.9 APG, 42.9 FG%.  In his best month (34:12), in seven April games, he averaged 14.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 6.3 APG, 45.5 FG%.  It’s known that Williams is still kind of an erratic all-around shooter, however, it can’t be denied that T-Will improved nicely in regards to shooting from the field, which came about with more shots per game: 12.1 shot attempts in March and 14.1 shot attempts in April.  Give the man the rock and give it often!

Now, when looking at Williams’ stats as a starter (9 G, 32:06 MPG, 10.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 3.8 APG, 37.4 FG%), it’s not exactly awe-inspiring.  But, three of those starts came very early during the season.  If we eliminate those games, the numbers are slightly better (6 G, 36:09 MPG, 12.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 5.0 APG, 39.2 FG%).  Naturally, these are small sample sizes, but it does feed the “upside” beast.  Well, except the shooting part, but as noted in the previous paragraph, if given the shots, he actually shoots well.

So, maybe it isn’t so much about T-Will having to start, but getting starter-type minutes as he did in that last month of the 2009-10 season.  However, that would be backing off a bit on my argument, so bump that.  Williams needs to start!!!  How do you like the three exclamation marks for emphasis?  In all seriousness, let Williams make his mistakes and accomplish things with the first team.  If Devin Harris can become that above average ball distributor again, T-Will will find himself with a lot of open and transition shots.  Imagine Troy Murphy and Travis Outlaw spotting up behind the arc and waiting for a Williams dish after driving and drawing the defense.  Or a dump-off to Brook Lopez to finish strong at the rack.

Williams has a lot of tools and the Nets need to let him use and maximize them, and that can only come with being a starter and getting things done with the first squad.  T-Will doesn’t have Morrow’s shooting ability, but that’s the only knock heaped largely on Williams.  Can he improve his shooting?  Absolutely as that’s more of a mechanical thing, whereas T-Will’s gifts (athleticism, court vision, nose for the ball) are instinctual and natural.

Is there any more of an exciting player on the Nets, both on the court and in the minds of hopeful Nets fans?  It’s not even close.  T-Will needs to start for his potential to turn into production.  Let’s go Nets!