NBA

Lou Williams: ‘I’m on a team where I can truly play my role and be the sixth man’

PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | Lou Williams

Lou Williams continues to establish an impressive performance since being traded to the Houston Rockets. Despite the adjustments, Williams feels more comfortable with his new team and reveals the difference on his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I smile more, I feel better,” Williams told Calvin Watkins of ESPN. “It’s definitely easier, especially where I haven’t scored in double-digits the last couple of games and we still got some big wins that’s a new experience. I’m on a team where I can truly play my role and be the sixth man and just bring energy and play as hard as I can.”

Lou Williams has been scoring for the Lakers this season before he was traded to the Rockets before the Feb. 23 deadline. Williams proved that the Rockets made the right decision after helping them win four of their last five games. The 30-year-old guard still plays his usual game but admitted that there is less pressure on him after joining Houston.

In 58 games with the Lakers this season, Williams averaged 18.6 points and 3.2 assists on 44.4 percent shooting from the field and 38.5 percent shooting from beyond this arc. He has been the most consistent player in Los Angeles, leading them in most of their games. However, with the Lakers headed for the NBA Draft Lottery, they needed to let go Williams to give their young backcourt players more playing time.

Coach Luke Walton already stated in the past that they will use the remaining months of the season to prioritize the development of their young players. Aside from Williams, Jose Calderon and Marcelo Huertas also left. As of now, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, and Brandon Ingram were forced to step up and fill the void left by the veterans.

So far, the Lakers are on a six-game losing streak and currently the worst team in the Western Conference. After losing Lou Williams, the Lakers were easily beaten by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics, and the San Antonio Spurs. However, their recent struggle turned out to be beneficial as it will help them secure their 2017 first-round pick.

Jordan Clarkson grabs larger opportunity with the departure of Lou Williams

Jordan Clarkson currently serves as the Lakers’ bench leader since Lou Williams was traded to Houston. Clarkson openly embraced the increased pressure and vowed to do everything he can to fill the void.

“I feel more comfortable just because there’s a lot of opportunities out there,” Clarkson said. “It’s coming back to you and stuff like that, the ball is. When you’re in that situation, you can make more plays for your teammates. You don’t relax. But you can kind of see the game and it kinds of comes to you instead of forcing it and being aggressive.”

Walton urged Clarkson to bring back his rookie performance and be the Lakers’ playmaker. Despite their losing streak, Walton praised the Filipino-American guard and pushes him to improve consistency.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

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