Clippers’ Lou Williams shuts down claim that he comes off the bench just to win Sixth Man awards
Lou Williams is the recipient of the last two Sixth Man of the Year awards and after the Los Angeles Clippers’ recent blockbuster moves that virtually cemented his bench role, he appears to be headed for his third straight.
With that, however, come accusations that the 32-year-old is playing off the bench just to hoard the award — a criticism which he finds simply ridiculous.
Lou Williams on coming off the #Clippers’ bench – “Can we put that to bed? Did I ask to come off the bench? Nobody’s asked me to start. I hate when people say, ‘you asked to come off the bench so you can win awards.’ No I don’t, that’s a ridiculous idea.” pic.twitter.com/0RJVO0Q8Jp
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) October 20, 2019
The claim is mostly supported by the fact that “Sweet Lou” plays starter minutes and takes more shots than the average bench player (15.2 and 16.9 attempts per night his previous seasons). But it’s a moot point since who starts and who comes off the bench is ultimately the coach’s call and not the player, and it just so happens that Clippers coach Doc Rivers prefers to have some instant offense.
Still, 2019-20’s Sixth Man award appears to be Williams’ to lose unless teammate Montrezl Harrell (a viable runner-up) would be able to take his game to another new level and wow the media with a double-double average. An unlikely scenario given the presence of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George who are equally adept at snaring boards.
There appear to be no clear-cut challengers to the throne outside Staples with Kyle Kuzma expected to start for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Indiana Pacers headed for a divorce with backup big man Domantas Sabonis (last season’s third-placer) after extension talks went south. Fred VanVleet could possibly make it interesting if the Toronto Raptors win enough games and he builds from his outstanding playoff run. Either way, it’s looking bleak for others unless Williams’ production hits a major snag.