When the Sixers need a big shot, they look no further than Lou Williams.
Although the Sixers’ fifth-year guard may seem like a veteran, compared to the likes of 20-year-old fledgling, Jrue Holiday, people seem to forget the fact that Williams is basically still a kid. In comparison to most athletes his age, number 23 plays with poise, far beyond a 24-year-old.
Being that he came out of high school in 2006, Williams started at a very young age, much like Holiday. But unlike Jrue, Sweet Lou had to wait a few years before he could stamp his name on the organization. This was when Allen Iverson was at the helm, so he had to be patient. He knew that his time would eventually come.
Some men graduate college when they’re 24 years old. The South Gwinnett High School grad skipped further education to become taught by two of the greatest guards in Philadelphia 76ers history. (Iverson and Maurice Cheeks)
On Sunday’s game-five matchup against the Heat in Philadelphia, Williams knocked down arguably the biggest shot of his career to this point. Respect should be given to his buzzer beater, late this season against Sacramento, but the playoffs are a completely different atmosphere. His rainbow three from the top of the arc was enough to elongate the series and stabilize Williams’ reputation as a pure scorer in clutch situations; something that the Sixers have struggled to find in recent years.
So, the main point that should be taken away from this piece is much more than his capability to knock down crucial shots; it’s about his age and experience. Evan Turner is about to turn 23-years old in October, which is only a year behind Williams’ current age, and Turner is a rookie.
I know Williams comes off the bench and many people see the role of a sixth man as the best player that isn’t good enough to crack a starting lineup, but don’t be surprised if he is in the near future. Anyway, don’t tell the 2011 Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom, that theory. By the end of his career, he will compile some unbelievable numbers. If he wasn’t in Los Angeles, he’d be starting on almost any other roster; same with Manu Ginobili, who came off the bench in San Antonio for numerous years.
Lou Williams is in the midst of a five-year, 25-million-dollar contract, which shows that the franchise has already placed trust in the young man. Now, if he decides to stay beyond his current deal, take a look at his career numbers in Philly a decade from now. He has the skills to write a fabulous page in the 76ers’ book of legacies.