Mo Williams Could Steal the Shown Down the Stretch


The Charlotte Hornets are locked in a tight battle for the Eastern Conference’s final two playoff spots. Mo Williams is the newest face in teal and purple, and he poised to take the league by storm down the stretch.

Many folks in the Queen City were critical of the Hornets’ moves – or rather, lack there of – on the day of the trade deadline, while seemingly every other team was swapping someone.

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Charlotte’s strategy on the final day of trade season was simple – can we dump Lance Stephenson? If someone wanted him, they could basically have him for a bag of peanuts. If the phones stayed silent (which they did), Charlotte would take the day off and watch the madness unfold from afar.

It may not have been exciting for those following along on Twitter, but the Hornets did their work the week before. They shipped off the slumping Gary Neal and Miami’s 2019 second-rounder to Minnesota in exchange for Mo Williams and Troy Daniels.

Many fans may had forgotten about the move, but Mo Williams has done his best to reminded them.

With the deal happening before the All-Star break, the timing couldn’t have been better for everyone involved on Charlotte’s side of things, as Williams was given over a week to adjust to being with his new team before having to play any games. That extra time, coupled with his veteran experience, allowed him to step in without missing a beat.

Through his first three games wearing a Hornets jersey, Williams has immediately been the hottest scoring threat, posting point totals of 24, 22 and 17. He’s also been averaging just over six assists per game during those three contests.

The numbers are incredible considering he hasn’t even been on the roster for two weeks. They’re also very promising given that he’ll only continue to improve as he gets fully acclimated to his new team.

Feb 21, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Mo Williams (7) brings the ball down court during the second half of the game against the Oklahoma Thunder at Time Warner Cable Arena. Thunder win 110-103. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Basically, Williams is in an ideal situation in which ability meets prime opportunity.

Charlotte is currently sporting the fourth-least-potent offense, averaging only 94.3 points per game. They’re one of only four teams this season averaging less than 95 points per game, with Miami, New York and Philadelphia being the others. Any time you’re sharing a statistic with the Knicks or the Sixers this year, it’s a bad sign.

When Kemba Walker was sidelined with a knee injury, that lackluster offense got even worse. The Hornets tried to fix the issue in-house, using a combination of Lance Stephenson and Gary Neal to backup Brian Roberts, but it was clear that just wouldn’t be enough.

Now that Williams is in town, he’s more than capable of filling the void, and while it’s a small sample size, he’s on pace to shatter expectations.

Let’s not forget, Williams isn’t too far removed from a 52-point outing. That’s right, he dropped 52 on the Pacers – who are only giving up the seventh-fewest points per game – on 19 of 33 shooting from the floor, including six of 11 from three-point land. Don’t be fooled, ladies and gentleman, that wasn’t a fluke.

Now, that’s not to say he’s going to produce like that on a nightly basis, but he certainly possesses the ability to. In fact, in his first game as a Hornet, Williams knocked down five of his 10 three-point attempts.

The Hornets run an offense that goes almost exclusively through Al Jefferson, which only further boosts Williams’ potential.

With Jefferson garnering so much attention down low, that leaves things open on the perimeter. The best way to loosen the pressure in the post is with outside shooting – something Mo Williams happens to be pretty good at.

What this means is that defenses will have to choose between double- and triple-teaming Jefferson on the block while leaving Williams open for a three-pointer, or run Williams off the line, opening up the inside for the Master of the Left Block.

With how dominating Big Al can be, I’m willing to bet teams will continue to keep their focus on him – and that’s music to Williams’ ears.

Even when Kemba Walker makes his return, Williams will still be heavily involved with the offense, particularly because of his ability to play the shooting guard position as well. In fact, the Hornets have used a two-point guard unit on quite a few occasions and it was relatively successful.

While it’s no knock on Brian Roberts, a combination of Kemba Walker and Mo Williams has the potential to be nearly unstoppable.

The ability is there and the stage is set – be on the lookout for Mo Williams down the stretch.

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