How much better is Derrick Williams?

Jan 2, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Derrick Williams (7) leaves the court after losing to the Utah Jazz 106-84 at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Has the best of Derrick Williams started to show this season? Over the last 3 weeks it is possible that Derrick Williams may be playing his best basketball of this season. At least if you’re a diehard Wolves fan, and you’ve heard Jim Peterson talk about how much better Williams has been playing over the last 3 weeks you might believe that. JPete claims we are finally seeing DWill have some consistency from game to game over the last 3 weeks. Well in order to know how much better he has been, we first need to know where he was so we can compare equally.

FG% 3P% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS GmSc

0.25

0%

50%

7

0

0

1

0

8

4

0.43

100%

50%

8

1

0

0

1

9

6.6

0.25

0%

100%

2

1

0

0

0

8

2.5

0.50

40%

100%

6

1

2

0

0

14

14

0.67

50%

100%

1

1

0

0

3

15

8.7

0.00

0%

100%

6

0

0

0

1

2

-4.2

0.50

0%

100%

5

0

0

2

3

4

2.5

0.25

0%

57%

9

2

0

1

2

10

5.2

0.50

50%

100%

7

2

0

4

3

23

18

0.67

50%

 

0

0

1

2

1

10

7.6

0.40

0%

 

5

0

0

1

2

4

1.1

0.50

33%

50%

10

0

0

1

2

7

6.7

0.60

75%

25%

4

0

0

0

0

10

6.9

0.50

0%

 

3

0

0

0

0

2

1.5

43%

28%

76%

5.21

0.57

0.21

0.86

1.29

9.00

5.84

 

These are the numbers from the first game of the year through Dec. 5th. There isn’t really any one game, or stat that jumps off the screen saying Dwill was playing outstanding basketball. Even looking at the GmSc metric, his best rating is 18.3. GmSc is Game Score, which is a formula that was created by John Hollinger to give a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game. The scale is similar to that of points scored, 40 is an outstanding performance, 10 is an average performance. So if 10 is average in GmSc, Williams is averaging 5.84 through the first 15 games of the season. That establishes where Williams has been. So how good has he been over the last 3 weeks?

FG%

3P%

FT%

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PTS

GmSc

0.33

0%

100%

1

0

0

0

0

6

2.9

0.50

0%

0%

0

0

0

0

2

2

-1.4

0.56

0%

100%

6

0

0

0

1

16

13.3

0.67

0%

4

0

1

0

0

4

4.5

0.33

33%

75%

3

0

1

0

1

8

3.5

0.50

1

0

0

0

0

2

0.5

0.33

50%

100%

5

0

0

0

1

5

4.2

0.43

67%

50%

4

0

0

0

0

9

6.1

0.50

67%

67%

1

1

0

1

1

10

7.7

0.40

0%

75%

2

1

2

2

1

7

7.2

46%

24%

71%

2.70

0.20

0.40

0.30

0.70

6.90

4.85

 

As you can see, statistically he’s actually been worse. Now he hasn’t been playing as many minutes as he was in the first chart to start the season, but other than his FG% he is worse in about every other category. It is only the small sampling of game to be able to draw any conclusions on, so don’t take a lot of stock in what these numbers show. But it is clear he isn’t playing lights out basketball over the last 3 weeks like some would have you believe.

Sometimes it is only fair to compare apples to apples. If you take players with the same MPG (minutes per game) Williams is truly outperforming players with the same MPG opportunity.

Player

MPG

USG%

TOr

FT%

2P%

3P%

TS%

PPG

TRB%

AST%

SPG

BPG

VI

Jimmy Butler

17.5

12.4

0.08

0.84

0.56

0.19

0.58

5.1

8.6

6.1

0.57

0.2

4.8

Maurice Harkless

17.5

12.2

0.11

0.44

0.50

0.21

0.48

3.9

12.1

3.8

0.7

0.93

4.1

Terrence Ross

17.4

21.4

0.09

0.63

0.49

0.35

0.51

7.4

7.3

6.8

0.7

0.27

5.2

Derrick Williams

17.1

23

0.12

0.72

0.43

0.37

0.52

8.1

13.5

4.7

0.29

0.63

6

Samuel Dalembert

17.1

15.5

0.20

0.81

0.59

1.00

0.64

6.1

15.8

5.4

0.13

1.31

6.1

Wilson Chandler

17.1

25.8

0.12

0.50

0.33

0.25

0.37

6.5

16

0

0

0.25

0

 

As you can see it isn’t all doom and gloom for Williams this year. If you’re looking for the glass half full news, for the season over all Williams is showing to be better than he was last year.

Season

PER

TS%

eFG%

TRB%

AST%

STL%

BLK%

TOV%

USG%

ORtg

DRtg

WS

WS/48

2011-12

12.9

0.499

0.449

12.2

4.5

1.1

1.6

11.7

20.7

100

106

1.8

0.06

2012-13

14.8

0.515

0.463

13.4

4.2

0.9

2.7

11.7

22.7

102

102

0.9

0.10

Career

13.4

0.503

0.452

12.4

4.4

1

1.8

11.7

21.2

100

105

2.6

0.07

 

Here is one of the biggest issues with Williams so far this season. Derricks defense, he is lower in his overall DRtg (defense rating) this season than last season. Not only is he lower in his DRtg, but look at his +/- this season.

+

-

+/-

Min

803

-818

-15

415.52

 

Part of the problem may be that Williams still has a lot of expectations on him for being a 2nd overall draft pick. Fair or not, that will always be with him so he will have to either accept it, or wither under the stigma of having been the #2 pick. Ultimately, it will be up to Derrick if he is going to be able to play in this league for a long time to come, or be the next Michael Beasley. There are still questions as to what he is, a 3 or a 4? Again if he can be consistent, he has shown in small flashes he is capable of playing the 3, but with his size has shown he is suited to be a 4. Williams in some ways has the Carmelo Anthony problem (not nearly to Melos offensive game) but strictly his size. He is capable to play the 3 when his game is rolling, but is built to play the 4.

From the outside looking in, and I’m by no mean an expert, it would seem like Derrick Williams has a decision to make. That decision is about what type of player he wants to be. Dwill is completely in a position to where he has to do the work to increase is ball handling, get quicker and work on his defensive game if he wants to be a 3, like he says he can be.

One thing is for sure, he has skills, and he can play. How much longer does he need to prove he can be consistent? And, will he continue to get the chance in Minnesota?

Topics: Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Williams, Jim Peterson, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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