Cavs begin title March with Dubs-up
There is a whiff of anticipation in the air around town these days as the defending NBA champions begin to hit their stride with two big acquisitions with the last name Williams expecting to be key.
Now on his second 10-day contract Derrick Williams, the former No. 2 pick of Minnesota, is proving to be a tremendous find by general manager David Griffin.
Williams sampling over a 7 game stretch is above his career numbers and his shooting percentage is the highest it’s ever been at 57 percent.
His 10.1 points and 3.4 rebound per game average in 24.3 minutes is more than what the doctor ordered in the absence of J.R. Smith and Kevin Love.
The 6’8 Southern California product who spent two seasons at Arizona has forced the Cavs hand because now they almost have to sign him for the rest of the season.
Often when these young players enter the league with glowing expectations that they don’t reach soon enough for impatient organizations, they become a great find for someone such as the Cavs who need them ready to hatch.
On Monday fresh on the heels of their 8-2 record in February the Cavaliers signed guard Deron Williams.
Williams (6-3, 200), was waived by Dallas where he averaged 13.1 points, 6.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 29.3 minutes through 40 games (all starts).
He also shot .348 from the three-point line and .821 from the foul line, while scoring in double figures on 27 occasions and dishing out 10 or more assists five times. He will wear jersey number 31 with the Cavs.
Playing in his 12th NBA season, Williams owns career averages of 16.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 34.6 minutes over 821 games (767 starts) for Utah, New Jersey/Brooklyn and Dallas. Overall, he has shot .444 from the field, .356 from three-point range and .822 from the free throw line. The 6-3 guard has dished out at least 20 assists in a game on six occasions throughout his career and ranks 19th on the NBA’s all-time assists list (6,733).
A three-time NBA All-Star (2010, 2011 and 2012), Williams has also made the All-NBA Second Team twice (2008 and 2010) and won gold medals as part of Team USA at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He was originally drafted out of Illinois by the Jazz with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft and earned All-Rookie First Team honors in 2006.
During the 2007-08 season, Williams became the third player in NBA history to have at least 1,500 points and 800 assists while shooting .500 or better from the field in a single season, joining Magic Johnson (1986-87 and 1988-89) and Kevin Johnson (1988-89).
Deron is the much coveted find that LeBron James has been pleading for most of the season and with him in tow, to go along with Kyrie Irving, newly acquired Kyle Korver who has smashed on 67 threes since arriving from ATL in a trade, you get the feeling this things is shaping up pretty good for a repeat.
The Cavs will travel to Boston on March 1, then to Atlanta on March 3 and close out an abbreviated road trip at Miami on March 4 before returning home for a Monday March 6 affair with the Heat at the Q.
Now sitting atop the East with a 41-17 record and all of the pieces coming together, a repeat is certainly not out of the question.