The weekend delivered a loss to the Lakers and a Pelican blowout. Ricky appeared to gain further strength and confidence before taking in a game at Williams arena.
The AP’s Jon Krawczynski had an article up on Yahoo! Sports last Thursday with some insight into Derrick Williams’ daily efforts with some nice quotes from Shawn Respert and Bill Bayno. Example:
”The young man, you can tell there’s so much upside,” Respert said. ”This is why the scouts looked at him as a No. 2 pick.
”Also, he can easily be historically a lot of the No. 2s that have come in the league if he’s not careful. If he doesn’t stay sharp and work like he’s been working, he can easily fall back into the mix of a guy that struggles in this league. He doesn’t have a true identity right now. We’re working on what it is that he can contribute every single night to help a team win.”
”I think now for him we can take the training wheels off a little bit and see how he can balance himself,” Respert said. ”He’s going to fall off his bike still. He’s going to have some scars. I told him that scars are OK. They heal. You don’t want wounds to go untreated.
”There’s something wrong with your game. We see it. And we’re going to try and fix it. If we left it alone, there would be a problem. Don’t be upset because people nitpick. Run harder, jump, box out. That’s all of our games. We all had to go through that process.”
However, the Derrick Williams debate simmers on, as Steve McPherson over at awolfamongwolves gives a nice counterpoint to the Krawczynski piece after statistically breaking down the defensive effort and shot selection during Terry Porter’s stretch as interim head coach:
The biggest impediment to that development right now, though, doesn’t seem to be only related to giving him more time on the floor. More playing time in the 11 games during Adelman’s absence showed a drop off in his game compared to the 11 that preceded it. Whatever the deeper reasons behind Williams’ struggles, it seems like the blame can’t simply be levelled at Adelman not giving him a chance.
It gets messy when considering the impact of summer free agency before the trade deadline has taken it’s toll, but Chris Haynes is reporting on the speculation that Portland could be considering Pek as an offer option:
There have been rumors floating around since last season that the Trail Blazers might have interest in the third-year center and Pekovic has heard those same rumors and considers it a compliment.
“That’s really nice when you hear that other teams like Portland really want to bring you in,” Pekovic told CSNNW.com. “That means that I’m doing a good job and they like what I’m doing. That’s something nice.”
“I’m really happy that everybody is talking about [my game] because after my first year, I could have never imagined people talking about me like this,” he said.
“You never know. My first option is to stay here.” Pekovic said. “That’s something that’s really hard for me because there are people around me that are asking, ‘What’s going to happen this summer?’” Pekovic said. “This summer is going to be big for me. That’s why I’m not really thinking about it and I’m just trying to focus on basketball.”
The Timberwolves have all the leverage in this case, but that doesn’t mean the Trail Blazers won’t try to go after him and make things more difficult for the Timberwolves. Remember the Batum fiasco?
We’re six months away from finding out. In the meantime, check out what Aldridge thinks about him.
“Pek is nice,” Aldridge said. “He’s definitely someone who has improved over the years and he keeps on getting better. He’s one of the best centers in the league.”