LA Clippers: Lou Williams is making a strong case for Sixth Man of the Year

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22: Lou Williams
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22: Lou Williams /

Lou Williams of the LA Clippers is playing the best basketball of his career and is looking to take home the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.

The LA Clippers season has not gone as planned, but there have been bright spots early on for the team. Lou Williams and his consistent play is one of the few things that has helped keep the team afloat while others rehab from early season injuries.

Williams, who came over in the Houston trade, has played at an All-Star level averaging a career-high 21.7 ppg and 90% from the free throw line. At a time when scoring has come at a premium, its nice to have instant offense similar to what Jamal Crawford brought previously.

Although Williams and Crawford are similar in how they play offensively, Lou is facilitating at a career-high 4.8 assists per game. Crawford was never one to boast high assist numbers, as his best with LA was 3.2 per game in 2013. The Clippers without a doubt knew that they were getting a scorer when they acquired him via trade, but his ability to help find the open man and run the offense is probably a bit more of a surprise.

Williams, a scorer by nature, is showing out and while he is in a contract year it seems he will get a nice increase once the season is up. However, it’s important to focus on the now.

At times, the team has been a little hard to watch. I find myself cringing sometimes, but when Lou has the ball in his hands it feels like something exciting is coming either by lob or by three.

Shouldering the load

Williams, the most consistent Clipper this season, has picked up the slack each time a player goes down. Getting help from a streaking Austin Rivers and Montreal Harrell has been beneficial, but Williams has never hesitated to take control.

In 14 games without Blake Griffin, Williams has scored 20 points or more 10 times and sat out one game. The previous 18 times Williams only scored 20 or more points five times. Williams has the greenest light I have seen since Doc Rivers took over. Even with the injuries, the Clippers are only 1.5 games back from the 8th spot and still have another half season to work their way into playoff seeding.

Sixth Man of the Year

Having a career year will likely not get an invite to the NBA All-Star Game, but that does not mean he is not playing at that level. Williams has guided the team to wins and has been a major reason the team is not sniffing the lottery floor. Getting starters back will help and if they can run off some wins in a hurry, it would be a big push in getting him votes for Sixth Man of the Year.

If the team is unable to turn it around before season’s end they could lose Williams by way of free agency.

This is all of course premature and on both ends of the spectrum but it’s hard to argue Lou’s impact on a team at times missing four starters and role players. Williams has the numbers and wins under his belt to make the early case. The team will need him to remain in attack mode once the team begins to funnel other players back from injury.