The Jordan Williams blog: Midseason report
In Jordan Williams’ rookie season, he has dealt with health issues, a trip to the D-League and a promotion into the regular rotation for the New Jersey Nets.
And the season’s only at the mid-point.
Williams, in his first season as a professional out of Torrington High School and the University of Maryland, has seen more this year than the average first year player.
First, was the uncertainty of the lockout and whether there'd be an NBA season. As the lockout dragged on, Williams signed with a team in Poland, only to have the lockout end just when he arrived.
When he did get to training camp, Williams suffered from dehydration and missed the Nets’ exhibition games and first week of the regular season. If this were a regular year, he would've had the benefit of working out with Nets trainers in the summer and play in the Las Vegas Summer League, a vital training tool for young players, especially rookies. To say that hurt him would be an understatement.
When Williams regained his health, he saw minimal time for the Nets in blowouts and was sent to the D-League to see regular action.
That trip to Springfield has turned out to be a turning point for him.
Instead of moping around about what some may call a demotion, Williams went to Springfield with a good attitude, played well and earned a quick call-up back to an injury-riddled New Jersey team.
Since his return, he’s showed considerable improvement, giving the Nets the player they saw at Maryland: A strong rebounder that can contribute offensively with putbacks, along with dunks and layups off double teams.
Currently, he’s playing on average 11.3 minutes a contest, netting 3.4 points with 2.9 rebounds.
Williams’ per-48 minutes statistics, which are the numbers he’d average if he played full games, are 14.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and a block and steal – the type of numbers the Nets envisioned when they took him with the 36th pick in the draft.
His first strong game of the season came on Feb. 1 against Detroit with nine points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes of action. Three days later, the night Linsanity actually began, Williams had 10 points and five rebounds against the Knicks at the Garden.
In maybe his best game yet, Williams scored a career-high 11 points to go along with five rebounds, two steals and a block in another game versus the Pistons last week.
Despite Saturday’s shocking victory over the Bulls at the United Center, the Nets have struggled for wins, coming out on top in just nine of 32 games thus far.
While that’s not good for the franchise, it may help with Williams’ continued development as the Nets can give him more playing time down the stretch since they’re not fighting for a playoff spot.
It also helps the Nets have a coaching staff, led by Avery Johnson, that is not looking over its shoulder worrying about getting fired. Rebuilding is their goal and the young players are going to get every opportunity to show their worth.
Jordan Williams has shown them so far that he has value. And it’s been one long, windy road to do so.