Jones, Williams make their D-League Debut

Jones, Williams make their D-League Debut
Dec 02, 2006, 03:29 pm
Bobby Jones and Louis Williams made their NBDL debuts on Friday night as the Fort Worth Flyers hosted the Bakersfield Jam. Though they came off the bench, the pair of 76ers were the first substitutions put into the game.

Louis Williams displayed dynamic scoring ability and improved point guard skills in his first NBDL game. In high school, Williams spent a lot of the time playing off the ball using his natural scoring abilities while Mike Mercer ran the point. After the 76ers drafted him, he sat on the bench his rookie year trying to learn the NBA game, and attempt to improve his point guard skills. Upon entry into the game, Williams displayed improved point guard skills. In transition, Williams found the open man a few times, and in the half court he used his penetration ability to create open looks for his teammates. He still doesn’t see the floor like a point guard, and struggles at times to run the offense, but he is much further along than he was a year ago.

Williams’ scoring ability is still the best part of his game right now. During a stretch around the halfway point in the first quarter, Williams hit a three pointer and made two consecutive driving lay-ups in transition giving him 7 consecutive points for the Flyers. He scored most of his points off the dribble, mostly going to the basket the entire game. With his athletic ability, there’s not a big man in the NBDL who can hang in the air with him long enough to block his shot. Williams knows how to adjust himself in the air, and give the ball a chance to go in when he’s fouled. His shooting stroke is still not perfect, but he made 1 of his 2 three point attempts, and 9 of 11 free throws. Williams won’t be able to finish inside in the NBA as easily as he does in the D-League, but he has the tools to be a change of pace scoring guard off the bench until he can become a full-time point guard. Louis Williams finished the game with 28 points on 9/12 from the field, and 10 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 turnovers.

Bobby Jones played very well on the defensive end as usual, and rebounded the ball very well. The biggest questions surrounding his game are based on his scoring ability. On the offensive end, Jones is trying to become a threat to hit the spot-up three on a consistent basis. He missed both of his three point shots, and his form looks about the same as it did in college. Jones had a few nice finishes going to the hoop, but was unable to convert from the free throw line on a few occasions. He also was put on the block posting up against smaller players, and that’s where he was able to generate most of his 9 free throw attempts. If Jones learns to hit the NBA three point shot on a consistent basis, his defense will eventually get him into the rotation for the 76ers.

Ryan Hollins Update

Hollins had a good game statistically, but is nowhere near a finished product at this point. In the post, Hollins uses one move where he basically jumps and pushed the ball up to the glass with his right hand. This shot is effective in the D-League, but may not transfer to the NBA. He did move very well off the ball, and dunked 3 times on backdoor cuts to the basket, showing his amazing natural athletic ability in the process. Hollins still doesn’t use his body very well, and hasn’t put on much muscle since leaving college. He didn’t block any shots, despite the fact that he has great natural leaping ability, and had 4 goal tends going for the block. Hollins rebounded the ball very well, but used his length to get the rebounds rather than using his body to get position. This works in the NBDL, but probably won’t in the NBA. Hollins is making progress with his game, but it will probably take him a full season to learn how to better use his natural athletic ability. He finished the game with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 turnovers.

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