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Thread: Williams: "Like a light went on".

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    Evacuee Crazy⑧s's Avatar
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    Default Williams: "Like a light went on".

    When rebuilding a team, you sometimes have to get lucky on a few hunches. Donnie Walsh already had one with the decision to draft unheralded prospect Landry Fields in the second round. But Walsh might be on the verge of going two-for-two, as Shawne Williams has emerged from a non-guaranteed training camp invitee to a valuable reserve in Mike D'Antoni's rotation.

    With 13 points in 21 minutes on 5 of 7 shooting from the field in Friday's win over New Orleans, Williams provided a much-needed dimension for this team: a knock-down shooter. Toney Douglas and Bill Walker have been inconsistent and Roger Mason Jr. has struggled to regain his shooting form from his San Antonio days, so D'Antoni has been searching for a shooter to take advantage of those double-teams designed to stop Amar'e Stoudemire and the emerging pick-and-roll with Raymond Felton.



    Williams, as evidenced not just in Friday's game but by what he has showed in practice scrimmages, has a sweet stroke, but more importantly, he's a high-IQ player who generally makes smart plays and moves the ball.
    "I just want to thank Coach for giving me this opportunity," Williams said. "I knew it was going to come because, you know, it's 82 game season and with Ronny [Turiaf] down we're short some players. I just wanted to be ready and help the team when I could help them."

    Williams came to the Knicks as a reclamation project desperate for a second chance. We told you his story back in October, just days before he was surprisingly chosen over fan-favorite Patrick Ewing Jr. for the final roster spot before opening night. Williams, whose troubled past made him somewhat of a risk, worked hardest on proving he had put his problems behind him while he put in extra time after practice working on his game. The 6-9 forward said he knew an opportunity would come sooner or later and his goal was to be ready for it.

    "In this league, everybody gets a chance, everybody," Williams said. "Doesn't matter who you are, you could be the last person on the bench. But someone you always get a chance because it's 82 games . . . you just got to stay ready. Coach did a good job with preparing me though."

    Truth is, D'Antoni has been talking about Williams for the last two weeks and just looking for a reason to get him into a game. Williams has played in each of the last three games (though his 1:37 against the Nets on Tuesday was garbage time) and will likely be in the rotation for the foreseeable future.
    "We just needed what he gives us," D'Antoni said. "Shooting and I knew he was going to be open because of Amar'e and the pick-and-roll. We need somebody to knock 'em down and he did."

    For Williams, that seems to be the easy part in this comeback for a former first round pick who after drug-related arrests and poor choices found himself out of the league just three seasons into his career when the Nets waived him in January.

    "It's a lot different than before because through all the things I've been through, it's a lot different," Williams said. "I'm just playing ball. It's a lot easier. When I get on the court, all the off the court stuff and all the issues, it's out of my mind. I'm just playing ball."
    Williams, who like many players whose growth is hindered by the tractor beam of guilt by less fortunate friends from their neighborhood, said he had an epiphany after his last transgression in July, when he was arrested along with friends in Memphis -- including former Memphis Tigers teammate Kareem Cooper -- allegedly in possession of drugs and a loaded gun. Williams was charged with driving with a suspended license.

    The arrest came days after Williams played for the Charlotte Bobcats in the NBA Summer League and effectively ended any chance of getting an invite to Bobcats training camp. The Knicks agreed to have him in as a 16th player mostly as a favor to agent Happy Walters, who also represents Amar'e Stoudemire. Walsh knew Williams well because he was with the Pacers when Larry Bird selected him 17th overall in the 2006 draft.
    No one knew what to expect when Williams arrived, but he was already a changed man.
    "It was like a lightswitch clicked on one day and I just knew what I should be doing," Williams said. "I knew I should be just playing ball and that's the bottom line. I just got back into it."

    At 24, there's still plenty of time for him. And though he openly laments the three wasted years, the road did lead him here, far away from that undisciplined kid who arrived in Indiana.
    "I'm not going to say I'm in a better place because it could have been better, but I can say I wouldn't trade this space where I'm at now for nothing in the world," Williams said. "I'm playing ball, I love what I'm doing and I'm with a good group of guys."


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    Good move by Walsh.

    You can never have too many good shooters. I suppose that's one thing he can do that AR is still needing a lot of work on...

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    Veteran petescud's Avatar
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    +1...


    Originally Posted by SSj4Wingzero
    Good move by Walsh.

    You can never have too many good shooters. I suppose that's one thing he can do that AR is still needing a lot of work on...

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    I really enjoyed watching Williams play. His minutes were vital because they really dented New Orleans efforts to come back at us.

    If he keeps knocking down shots when Amare is double teamed then this guy is going to become very, very valuable to us.

    However, a note of caution, he only did that in one game so let`s not get too excited. I hope that he does it regularly.

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    Quiet Storm New New York's Avatar
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    WOW Great Thread! At first I thought this was another thread about us fans getting overly excited about a player who had one good game (see Jonathan Bender and Bill Walker threads as prime examples) but William's story is deeper than that!

    I am pulling for this kid regardless of what he does for us on the floor! Hopefully Donnie assigns Alan Houston to him as a mentor to help keep him on the right path.

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    Superstar Scribbles's Avatar
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    Did Shawne Williams really just leap over Anthony Randolph's rotation minutes?

    Wow.

    I don't think anyone predicted that.

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    Originally Posted by Scribbles
    Did Shawne Williams really just leap over Anthony Randolph's rotation minutes?

    Wow.

    I don't think anyone predicted that.
    If Randolph doesn't get minutes when Turiaf is out when will he? AR is buried deeper than Jimmy Hoffa under Giants Stadium on the Knicks bench. I wonder if he'll start bitching about his playing time soon.

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    Evacuee Crazy⑧s's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tiger0330
    If Randolph doesn't get minutes when Turiaf is out when will he? AR is buried deeper than Jimmy Hoffa under Giants Stadium on the Knicks bench. I wonder if he'll start bitching about his playing time soon.
    He's been so out of sync offensively that he couldn't possibly wonder why he's not playing. He's missed his defensive rotations as well.

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    I think Randolph needs to spend more time learning from STAT how to play in this offense. STAT drives and takes the ball to the rim but also isn't afraid to kick it out to the good shooters we have to hit the open jumper if possible.

    Randolph on the other hand forces things way too much. If he's got the ball he's gotta go for a basket, leads to him taking some really ugly ass looking shots and he's gotta fix that if he wants to play in this offense.

    D'Antoni's offense gives you the freedom to run and take a lot of shots but it's a double-edged sword in the fact that it only succeeds when it's being run well by players who know the difference between a good and a bad shot - Randolph clearly does not know this yet and that's probably why he's being benched right now.

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    Originally Posted by SSj4Wingzero
    I think Randolph needs to spend more time learning from STAT how to play in this offense. STAT drives and takes the ball to the rim but also isn't afraid to kick it out to the good shooters we have to hit the open jumper if possible.

    Randolph on the other hand forces things way too much. If he's got the ball he's gotta go for a basket, leads to him taking some really ugly ass looking shots and he's gotta fix that if he wants to play in this offense.

    D'Antoni's offense gives you the freedom to run and take a lot of shots but it's a double-edged sword in the fact that it only succeeds when it's being run well by players who know the difference between a good and a bad shot - Randolph clearly does not know this yet and that's probably why he's being benched right now.
    I agree with this!

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    SWAGABURY KingStarbury3's Avatar
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    smh the Nets didnt waive him, Dallas did. Its Shawne Williams, not Sean Williams from bumston college

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    Sexy Stud knickzrulezH20's Avatar
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    He's really impressed me. Anytime he throws up an open shot it looks good to me lol.

    Haven't felt that way since early last year with Gallo and his hot 3 pt shooting.

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    #17 pick, and even then he fell some due to 'tude problems. Ability is undeniable.

    What happened to him personally and criminally will usually break a kid entirely. In rare cases, a man comes out of it, with maturity well beyond his or most peoples' years.

    Williams may be that person.

    But a shame our Celebrity Coach has no idea how to use him to help us win games, or play young and unproven players.

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    is the Bo$$ Toons's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by iSaYughh

    But a shame our Celebrity Coach has no idea how to use him to help us win games, or play young and unproven players.
    You guys need to really give it a break with the 'Celeb Coach' bull****. I am convinced that Dantoni plays whoever plays the best in practice. How else would williams even get burn if he wasnt knockin em down in practice? This kid battled ewing jr to the death and is proving himself, coach gives him minutes and he is helping us win games. He played 26 minutes last night.

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    Originally Posted by Crazy8s
    He's been so out of sync offensively that he couldn't possibly wonder why he's not playing. He's missed his defensive rotations as well.
    Crazy - BTW quality thread. Always like the pics and stats you have in your posts and the 411. I get more info on the Knicks reading your stuff than I get anywhere else.

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