Deron Williams is becoming more comfortable with the Cavaliers
When Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin decided to make a deal for veteran point guard Deron Williams, some fans of the team may not have known what he brought to the table. Obviously, “D-Will” was to serve as Kyrie Irving‘s backup, but he is no ordinary reserve player — this man can ball.
Williams, now 32 years of age, was selected by the Utah Jazz with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft and has three All-Star nods to his credit. Furthermore, D-Will is a two-time Olympic gold medalist: one in 2008 as a member of “The Redeem Team,” and another in 2012 alongside Chris Paul and Jason Kidd.
Williams’ first breakout performance as a member of the Cavaliers came against the Miami Heat in Cleveland’s second to last game of the regular season. With LeBron James, Irving, and Kevin Love all held out for rest, it was Williams’ time to shine. The crafty ball-handler racked up 35 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds in an overtime loss at Miami.
“The Miami game definitely helped because it was a game where I was just trying to be aggressive, go back to kind of playing the way I’m used to,” Williams said, via Joe Vardon of cleveland.com. “It definitely kind of helped me jump start and get my confidence back a little bit because the games before that I wasn’t getting many attempts, many looks, was kind of fooling around.
“When I do that, I kind of lose confidence, so the Miami game was definitely helpful.”
So far, Williams has played a key role for the Cavs in the playoffs. Through Cleveland’s four-game sweep against the Indiana Pacers, Williams averaged 8.3 points (10-of-13 from the field, 7-of-9 from beyond the arc) and 1.5 assists in a productive 15.5 minutes per game — all while committing zero turnovers and playing scrappy defense. Williams was also a member of Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue‘s Game 3 bench lineup that fought back from a 26-point deficit.
“I feel like I’ve had a little bit over two months now and I’ve adjusted and figured things out,” Williams said following Sunday’s 106-102 Game 4 closeout win against the Pacers.
James, a teammate of Williams on the USA Men’s Basketball Team, says it’s good to see his friend getting more comfortable with the Cavaliers’ game plan.
“Every day he’s getting more and more comfortable with what we want to do,” James said of Williams. “We needed him. We’re happy we got him.”