Lou Williams looks poised for another Sixth Man of the Year award

LA Clippers Lou Williams (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Lou Williams (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Lou Williams had a great opening night and with more weapons and a better LA Clippers team, he could be poised to win another Sixth Man award this season.

In arguably the most anticipated season opener in LA Clippers history, LA’s “other team” showed up to defeat the Lakers 112-102 and a back and forth matchup on TNT to begin the NBA season. During the matchup, we saw Lou Williams again dominating in his role.

Many will look at how great the team looked defensively or that Kawhi Leonard debuted with 30 points or the dominant fourth quarter that ultimately won the game for the Clippers, but I want to look at something the Clippers already had before The Claw came to town, a formidable bench.

The Clippers bench, which featured Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, JaMychal Green and Mo Harkless, dominated the Lakers bench, outscoring them 60-18 in the victory with Williams contributing 21 points and Harrell adding another 17.

If you recall, Williams and Harrell were the NBA’s highest-scoring duo off the bench last season and Doc Rivers had this to say about his bench this season.

"“This bench is going to be better this year than even last year,” Rivers said."

If adding Paul George and Kawhi Leonard wasn’t enough, imagine a team that thrived with its bench last season getting better in that area.

Lou Williams scored 21 points as I mentioned before and was very key to the huge fourth quarter that led to the victory, and with other scoring options on the floor with him this season unlike last season, expect Williams to have a career season off the bench once again.

Why? When Paul George returns, teams will pinpoint their defensive focus on George and Kawhi, leaving Lou Williams a plethora of open opportunities on the floor, which could even open more opportunities for other players such as Landry Shamet and Ivica Zubac or Montrezl Harrell, depending on who is on the floor.

Riddle me this. In crunch time, Doc Rivers decides to throw a lineup of Williams-Shamet-Leonard-George-Harrell to get a final basket. Every player mentioned in that lineup, especially Williams, can score and create his own basket. To say Williams road to Sixth Man of the Year would be easy isn’t exactly a false statement.

Other candidates don’t have the luxury of having not one but two elite scorers alongside them to basically hand them free opportunities at points when they share the floor together. Williams is also a prolific shot creator so even if he is the primary scorer on the floor, when did that stop him last season?

Next. Grading Kawhi Leonard's debut. dark

Again, we have seen one game and who will fight against Williams and his bench crown will be hard to tell until we see at least a quarter of the season. But expect Williams to be right in the thick of the conversation or become a run-away candidate at some point in his 14th NBA season.