There was one thing I never wanted Shelden Williams to do when he was a Celtic: shoot the basketball. But for some reason, that’s exactly what the Denver Nuggets are giving him the freedom to do. (Denver Post)
The offensive-minded Nuggets want Williams to tap back into his aggressive scoring talent, telling the 6-foot-9, 250-pounder not just to defend, rebound and set screens, but to look for his shot as well. It’s different, exciting and invigorating for Williams, who is very much looking forward and appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of the offense.
“I haven’t been in that position since college where the ball comes to me and they expect me to shoot it,” Williams said. “So I have to kind of get back to how I used to be and get comfortable with that and build confidence. I haven’t felt like this in a long time.”
It was just an intrasquad scrimmage, but Tuesday night at the FirstBank Center in Broomfield there were glimpses of what Williams should be able to do offensively this season. He scored 16 points and hit 7-of-7 shots, from layups and dunks to elbow jumpers. And he still didn’t sacrifice the intangibles that make him a valuable commodity on the court.
“He’s one of the best high-low players I’ve played with,” Nuggets guard J.R. Smith said.
Denver coach George Karl likes what he has seen out of Williams so far and has no issues with asking him to look for his shot.
“The way we play basketball, we want everybody to be attacking,” Karl said. “Reading and trying to attack. I don’t think you can have a player out there that can’t be aggressive. It helps us that everybody has the same attitude about reading build-outs, spacing the court, attacking gaps and passing the ball.
“He’s got a good handle and some good senses for a big guy. A lot of it starts with being able to make the 18-foot jump shot. But I think so much of offense is reads and your feel for the game as it is being able to make shots.”
I’m not sure this article is talking about the same Shelden Williams who played for the Celtics last year. “One of the best high-low players I’ve played with?” “A good handle and some good senses for a big guy?” 16 points on 7-for-7 shooting?
#23 for the Denver Nuggets: who are you and what have you done with Shelden Williams?