Can Lou Williams Make an Impact Right Away?


The Lakers made multiple changes to their roster, including adding pieces Brandon Bass and Lou Williams. Both players offer different and unique production. Lou Williams, the reigning 6th man of the year, can bring scoring off the bench or even in the starting lineup. Now, going into 2015-2016, the Lakers, and Lou Williams, are in an awkward spot. Currently they have Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, and Lou Williams listed as a shooting guard. This is where the awkwardness comes in. How can this trio of shooting guards work? More importantly, if the Lakers want to run Russell and Clarkson on the floor at the same time, that makes another shooting guard out of the two. So can Lou Williams find a way into this guard-heavy team?

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The idea that I saw, especially after the addition of Lou Will, was trading Young. This hasn’t happened and the Lakers may just keep him and see how it goes. The first area that needs attention is obviously how to use these players to their skills. The talk of the town right now is that Kobe Bryant playing a lot of forward. I don’t mind this idea. If Kobe plays some 3 then he’ll want to make sure he’s productive on the defensive end. Luckily for him, the West isn’t super difficult at the three position. Kobe may find more success guarding guys like Harrison Barnes, rather than guys like James Harden. There will be matchup nightmares for the Lakers, with guys like Kevin Durant coming their way, but they would likely be matchup nightmares no matter who plays small forward for them next season.

The second area of concern is how to manage all the shots being taken. Both Nick Young and Lou Will are similar players. They can score the ball, and create big runs of points. Young spoke on this matter recently.

"I don’t want us fighting for every shot,” Young said. “Lou is my guy. It should be all right. No one can really guard anybody when we’re out there. You can’t leave me open. You can’t leave him open."

In theory it sounds good, but when have we seen Young be that type of team player? Young averaged 11 shots a game last season, and 14 the season before. The key here is that if Young and Williams are going to get free will to shoot, then Clarkson and Russell need to become full-time facilitators. As we saw in the summer league though, Clarkson’s game is evolving and could actually hurt his growth as a player if he has to stay just facilitating.

The good news for Lakers fans and the team is that, after this season we may start to see what their real lineup is. Kobe may retire, Nick Young likely won’t be back, and hopefully Julius Randle and Brandon Bass will get a year together and grow. This season could get awkward at times, but the keys are managing minutes to where Young and Williams can operate on their own at different times of the game, and be effective for their time on the floor.