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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Shawne Williams Becoming a Key Player for Los Angeles Lakers in 2013-14

Robert Hanashiro – USA TODAY Sports

When people think of Shawne Williams they think… well most people probably don’t think of Shawne Williams. Surprisingly enough he’s been in the NBA since 2006 when he was drafted 17th overall out of the University of Memphis by the Indiana Pacers. Since then his career has been marked by frequent team changes, subpar performance and multiple marijuana charges. He’s seen short stints with multiple NBA teams including the Pacers, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn) and Dallas Mavericks. Up until this point he’s shown little ability to be a starting caliber player in the NBA, but all of that changes this season.

You may be asking why?

Los Angeles Lakers‘ Coach Mike D’Antoni‘s questionable decision making skills are the reason.

Coach MDA’s offense requires having a “stretch 4″ or a power forward that can shoot outside shots which happens to be something Williams is quite good at. MDA became quite familiar with Williams’ abilities when he coached him during the 2010-11 NBA season with the Knicks where Williams shot an impressive .403 from behind the arc in 64 games played — the second most games played he’s seen so far in his career — yet he still only averaged just over seven points a game on 20 minutes a night. A lot more than that minimal production is going to be needed out of him this season to help the Lakers be successful.

As opening night approaches Williams is penciled in as the starting power forward next to Pau Gasol allowing both Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill to come off the bench and play with the second unit against opposing bigs. Whether or not this is a good idea has yet to be seen, and we may see plenty of lineup changes for the Lakers throughout the year in desperate attempts by MDA to win games and keep his job.  Regardless of the outcome one thing is for sure; expect Shawne Williams to take plenty of threes.

Catch Ian Meredith on Twitter @Cui2iousGeoi2ge