In Charlotte, Mark Williams took his chance

Since the start of the season, the rotation of Steve Clifford for the pivotal position with the Hornets is simple: Mason Plumlee is the starter, and Nick Richards is his understudy. As the two combine on average more than 46 minutes, they leave only crumbs to the third pivot of the club, the rookie Mark Williams. Chosen in 15th position in the last Draft, the latter only played 12 minutes in the first 33 games of the season.

But in recent days, the situation has changed. Nick Richards, due to a foot alert, missed three games in a row, and the former Dukie took the opportunity to follow up with three good outings at 16, 18 and then 21 minutes.

His nice double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds in this third game, a victory against the Thunder, hinted at the full potential of the slender pivot, chosen in the first round for his tempting profile as a control tower in the paint, and perfect pick-and-roll partner for a creative point guard like LaMelo Ball.

 » I just wanted to make the most of this opportunity, playing to my strengths. I’m always ready, because you never know what each game has in store “he said then, after his good performance against the Thunder.  » A game like this is good for confidence, that’s for sure. So I’m going to build on that. I’m not going to think about it too long, because that’s how you can miss your next match. Just come back to the field next time with the same intensity. »

A dilemma now arises in Charlotte’s painting

Far from being a flash in the pan, this entry of Mark Williams into Steve Clifford’s rotation seems definitive. And should raise a question in the mind of the Hornets technician: who to choose now?

If the truth of the field is to be believed, in the Hornets game against the Nets last night, it seems to be Mark Williams, who played 15 minutes (for 8 points and 7 rebounds) in relay of Mason Plumlee, while Nick Richards, yet back from his short injury, was only allowed 3 minutes.

On the subject, Steve Clifford rather prefers to kick in touch for the time being, recalling quite rightly that the mobilizations can be periodic, in a young team in uncertainty like the Hornets, especially when two good young people evolve on the same position.

 » In my eyes they are developing players. And when your squad is made up of a lot of young players, you look at everyone. […] And that is not easy. Nick has been in our rotation since the beginning, and I appreciate what he brings. But I also have to test Mark » he affirmed thus.  » And when you look at the starting pivots in the league, you notice that there are elements that stand out. For example, if you play pick-and-roll with a player like Melo [LaMelo Ball]and you can defend the ‘pick-and-roll’ on the other side of the field, then you can be a very good starter. [Mark] has all these elements to be effective […] What if Melo, Gordon [Hayward] and terry [Rozier] play with a good pick-and-roll partner, it results in a good shot for us. »

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