Derrick Williams’ first year in the NBA was marked with inconsistency. The rookie out of Arizona appeared in every game last season for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but if you made a graph of the minutes he played, it would look like a mountain range.
Williams had some brilliant performances, including a 27-point game against the Clippers where he shot 9 for 10 from the field and a perfect 4 for 4 from behind the arc. He had his moments where he looked like he was worthy of the second overall pick that the T-Wolves used to get him.
However, there were times he looked like just an immature rookie, jacking up ill-advised shots or making poor decisions on the court.
Now it is time for Williams’ sophomore season and time to take the good from the first year and leave the bad behind. Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has been impressed with what he has seen so far.
“Adelman said that Williams has carried his early success from Mankato through the first week of practice. He's been consistent, which is a marked improvement from last season, and he'll get a chance for plenty of minutes in the preseason to see if what he's been showing can carry over to games.”
He will get the opportunity, but it is still going to be a tough road for Williams, who will always be on the depth chart behind T-Wolves star and fan favorite, Kevin Love. The two can definitely share the court at the same time, but Love will always be the priority. It is up to Adelman to decide how best to use Williams and make sure his minutes are maximized.
Still, it is a good sign to have a vote of confidence from the coach. It will be a nice esteem boost to a player who probably needs a little self-assurance after such an up and down season. If Williams plays to the level he is capable of, the Timberwolves will continue to improve and may be on their way to the top of a very competitive Western Conference.
Will Derrick Williams make his leap this year with Minnesota? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter by using the hashtag #TWolvesDay.