In anticipation of the 2012-2013 NBA season, I thought that it would be a good idea to break down every player on the Atlanta Hawks roster before the season starts. This will be a good way to get some fans more familiar with the new additions to the roster, as well as provide content during a quiet offseason.
One of those new additions to the Hawks roster is Jordan Williams, who came over to the team in the trade that sent Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets.
Williams, a 6’10 forward/center is entering his second season in the league after a relatively quiet rookie year with the Nets and a short stint with their NBDL-affiliate, the Springfield Armor.
Williams initially reported to the Nets after the lockout out of shape and overweight. As a result, he only appeared in eight of teams first 22 games, including a six-game stint in the NBDL in late January. In those eight games for the Nets, Williams averaged 0.9 points (on 27% shooting) and 1.6 rebounds in a little over six minutes a game. Not exactly the greatest way to start your NBA career.
However, something clicked in Williams brain not too long into the season, and he was able to work himself back into playing shape. Whether it was the demotion to the D-league, or the possibility that Kris Humphries‘ ex-wife Kim Kardashian may be looking to make Humphries jealous by frolicking with one of his teammates, Williams was soon back into the stellar shape he showcased at pre-draft workouts.
High Point Of The 2011-12 Season- Due to the Nets dreadful year and a rash of injuries, Williams saw his playing time, as well as production, nearly double in the final month of the season.
Williams logged his most productive game of the year on April 14th, logging a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Even better news for Hawks fans, the game came against the Boston Celtics and saw Williams play very well lined up against the Celtics’ big men. This may mean that Zaza Pachulia may have finally found a headbutt-buddy the next time the Hawks face Kevin Garnett.
Low Point Of The 2011-12 Season- In the last game of his stint with the Springfield Armor of the NBDL, Williams was held scoreless, and added only two rebounds during his 22 minutes of play. Obviously Williams knew that he was going to be back in the NBA the next day, and decided to save his energy in order to showcase his skills when he would be back in New Jersey. Sure enough; Williams was back in the NBA the next night and definitely improved on his zero-point effort from the night before, knocking down one-of-two free throws en route to a one-point performance against the Toronto Raptors.
3 Reasons Why Hawks Fans Should Be Happy-
1. When the news broke that the Hawks had received a big man with the last name Williams in the deal with Brooklyn, I scrolled down fearful of what I would find. Luckily, the Hawks acquired Jordan in the trade, instead of reacquiring Shelden Williams. After having to struggle through Shelden’s two-year stint as a Hawk, I am glad that he won’t be returning anytime soon. After all, the roster is only big enough for one abnormally large forehead, and Zaza Pachulia has that covered.
2. The arrival of Williams (and Johan Petro) allowed the Hawks to cut ties with Jason Collins and the unofficial team grandpa, Erick Dampier. In Williams’ only game against the Hawks last season, he scored eight points (on 3/4 shooting) and grabbed three rebounds. Collins’ on the other hand scored 0 points (on 0/2 shooting) and grabbed 2 rebounds, pretty much his season averages last year.
3. With the trade of Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz, the Hawks looked to be without a player named Williams for fans to blame the team’s losses on. Luckily the Hawks were able to grab Jordan from the Nets to ensure that there will be another scapegoat named Williams on the team for at least another season.
Strengths- Williams is a pretty good rebounder on both sides of the floor, and is able to use his size to his advantage inside. If he can get inside and get offensive rebounds, he is normally quick to put them back up. With the huge amount of shooters the Hawks acquired this offseason, it will be nice to have at least one man off the bench who can stay in the paint.
Weaknesses- Though his jumper has improved Williams still doesn’t have very much offensive range, evidenced by his 30% (10/33) shooting outside of the paint last season. He also isn’t a good passer out of the paint, and doesn’t make the best decisions trying to clear the ball after an offensive rebound.
2012-13 Season Outlook- Despite a shaky rookie season, Williams is still just 21 years old and will have a chance to prove his worth this season. He is most likely sitting at the bottom of the depth chart currently, and depending on which starting lineup Hawks coach Larry Drew decides to run with to start the year, Williams playing time may fluctuate. If Drew chooses to move Josh Smith to the small forward in order to start Zaza at center, Williams will be fighting with Petro for any the backup center minutes.
What helps Williams though, is his versatility. While Petro is strictly a center, Jordan Williams can play the power forward position and may see a few minutes there regardless of which lineup Drew uses, even if the Hawks do successfully re-sign Ivan Johnson.
While it may be foolish to expect much more from Williams than he produced last year, most Hawks fan can agree that anything is better than watching Jason Collins “run” up and down the court for 10 minutes and get winded while fouling. Williams will need to have a good camp and preseason to prove that he deserves to see the floor. Judging by the end of the last season however, he can be much more effective than Petro, his main competition for minutes currently.
2012-13 Projected Role- Third big man off the bench most likely, depending on the lineup. He may not play every night, but the Hawks can try to develop him slowly to see if he is a part of future plans. Hopefully he can learn to play with the toughness and hustle that Zaza has shown, which may raise his stock. If nothing else, at least he has six fouls a game to give.
2012-13 Projected Stats- 3.1 PPG, 2.8 RPG, a solid shooting percentage, and less embarrassing moments than Jason Collins, if he can make the team.
Stay on the lookout for the rest of the 2012-13 Atlanta Hawks player profiles. I will be going down the roster one-by-one, starting at the bottom of the depth chart and moving to the top.
Next up: Deshawn Stevenson