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Williams getting his shot Rookie guard trying to find role with Nets News New Jersey Nets

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News » Williams getting his shot Rookie guard trying to find role with Nets

Williams getting his shot Rookie guard trying to find role with Nets

Williams getting his shot Rookie guard trying to find role with Nets The challenge most kids face when they arrive on this level is common: They had just spent the last decade of their Basketball lives dominating the ball that's a given, if they've made it this far -- and now they have to learn how to play without dominating the ball.

Terrence Williams would just as soon not face that issue. Other than his defense and athleticism, his knack for running the offense is what got him here.

"I would definitely feel more comfortable giving Devin a blow and running the point," the Nets rookie said yesterday, referring to Devin Harris. "My whole mindset is, whatever position they want me in, that's where I'll play. But yeah, I'd love to play point, because that's what I've always played."

But that's not happening, at least not on a team run by an All-Star who needs the ball even more.

So if Williams cannot do what he does best, how effective can he be at the offensive end?

No one is sure -- yet.

"It's not easy for rookies," Nets backup point Keyon Dooling said yesterday, before the team's public scrimmage at Ramapo College. "But Terrence will figure it out, because he has to. When you've got an All-Star point guard, it's up to everyone else to learn how to play around that."

"It's about feeling your way through, finding ways to be effective," Harris said. "In Terrence's case, he's used to playmaking, and he's not going to have to do it as much here. But he can do other things well, and he has to depend on those things to get himself on the court and find his way."

Williams does not flinch at the task. While he'd rather have the ball, he sees one benefit to playing alongside Harris.

"You get more shots that way," the rookie said. "A lot of people say this and that about Devin, but in this first week, I'd say he passes the ball a lot. And he gets mad if you don't shoot. He's kind of like me that way.

"He can get to the lane any time he wants, and when he throws it back out, he wants you to shoot the ball. So I learn that I'm getting more shots playing with him than I do with the ball."

Whether Williams will hit them, however, is a legit question.

He is more slasher than shooter -- his strength is clearly in the open court -- and he is one of the team's most willing passers. But he has been inconsistent shooting the ball, with range that barely scrapes the college 3-point line.

"But he has really nice form," Jarvis Hayes said, "and if he keeps putting in the work, I can see him being a knockdown shooter someday. Don't forget, shooting's not easy. It takes time. He's working at it."

"The reality is, he's very good with the ball in his hands," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "At the same time, the majority of this game is played without the ball in your hands, so you have to learn to be effective doing that. There's one guy with the ball and four other guys. There has to be movement off the ball with a purpose."

So if he has to re-think offense, where will Williams find his niche?

"We're used to having multiple guys who can do something with the ball," Frank said. "The more the ball moves, the more opportunities there are. Plus, we'll have a bunch of multiple pick-and-roll sets -- a point guard may start it. There's going to be plenty of opportunities. I don't worry about that."

And defensively, there's been a shorter learning curve.

"He's had a very good approach -- big eyes and ears," Frank said. "I think he's showing signs of really being able to pressure the ball, and he's done a good job at times of making plays. We'll see how the rest comes along."

Actually, the rest of the package is impressive. As an athlete, Williams has few equals on the team, and he made the gym hyperventilate with an explosive one-dribble-takeoff from the wing that resulted in a hellacious jam Friday -- one of the few dunks in scrimmages all week.

The fact that it was over Brook Lopez was even more impressive.

"That's a fabrication," Lopez protested with a smile when the subject was raised.

"Uh, you'll have to ask Brook about that," Williams said diplomatically.

"He did dunk on somebody. And it was very nice," Harris said. "That's a tribute to pure athleticism, because if you can dunk after six practices in a row, then you're doing something."

Notes: The team scrimmaged for 20 minutes (running time) in a gym that was two-thirds full, a weak turnout for a free event. Sean Williams was the standout for the victorious white team, dominating his matchup with Yi Jianlian on aggression alone, while Harris and Bennet Davis had their moments for the blue squad. Terrence Williams played half the session and had an assist 10 seconds after checking into the game. ... The Nets open their preseason today against the Knicks in Albany. The MSG Network will carry the game at 2 p.m.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 7, 2009


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