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Rockets’ Williams Baffled by McHale
Posted By Alex Raskin On March 10, 2012 @ 8:07 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
It’s been over a year since Terrence Williams was traded by the New Jersey Nets to the Houston Rockets but not a lot has changed for the former lottery pick. In his return to Newark’s Prudential Center on Saturday, Williams was still wondering why a player of his ability continues to be played sparingly.
“It’s definitely slow,” he told HOOPSWORLD of his experience in Houston. “It’s fun, meaning the city and the group of guys that I’m with, but as far as basketball, it’s definitely slow.
“Slow in terms of playing time,” he clarified. “You’re kind of wondering, okay, what’s going to happen next? What is my role going to be here? That’s what I mean by slow.”
Things started quickly for Williams in 2011-2012. He played over 21 minutes in five of team’s first six games, but barely saw the court over the next two months. Then, seemingly out of the blue, Williams played 14 minutes in last Sunday’s loss to the Clippers before missing a practice and being held out of Tuesday’s loss to the Celtics. The next night, however, Williams was back in the lineup in a loss to the Raptors.
“Nobody knows,” Williams said when asked why he stopped getting playing time initially. “That’s a mystery. It went from playing to the next day not, so it’s still a mystery. But, I don’t know, hopefully it gets turned around by the end of the season. If not, it don’t. But that’s the mystery everyone wants to know.”
Williams said he and coach Kevin McHale haven’t spoken on the issue, but he insists that he is a “professional every day” and whenever his name is called, he’ll “take care” of his role, whatever that may be. However, McHale told reporters that it’s simply a numbers issue at the shooting guard and small forward positions where the Rockets also have Chandler Parsons, Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger and Courtney Lee.
“It’s tough,” McHale said. “We have a lot of wings. It’s really loaded up in that spot. It’s just a situation where he got some time early. He got some time lately and it’s just a tough situation for a lot of those wings.”
In Williams’ 25 minutes in the month of March, he’s shot poorly (2 of 12 from the field), but did grab five boards, dish out three assists and pick up a steal, which are things most Nets fans can remember him doing before he fell out of favor in New Jersey. (He once had a triple double as a rookie with the Nets)
And despite Williams’ penchant for arriving late to or missing practice, he’s still in playing shape—something he says never changes.
“I’m in the best shape on the team,” Williams said. “I don’t get out of shape. I definitely take care of my body throughout the season whether I’m playing or not.”
With Thursday’s trade deadline approaching quickly, Williams has removed himself from the chatter. Rumors involving Rockets power forward Luis Scola being dealt only serve as a reminder that he and his $2.4 million expiring contract can be dealt at any moment. He enjoys being around the Rockets players—including Lee, a teammate of his with the Nets—but he says they’ll continue to be friends “regardless” of whether he’s “on the same team” or not. In other words, Williams doesn’t fear another trade.
“I’m not really concerned with that,” he said. “If it is, it is. I’ve been through it before. So, being through it before, you can go through it again. It’s not that big of a deal if I’m going or not.”
Considering McHale has given Williams 181 minutes this season, the feeling may be mutual.
Update: Terrence Williams was not seated on the Rockets bench in the second half of Saturday’s game in New Jersey. He was there in the first half, but didn’t come out for the second for some reason. More to come…
Update: The Rockets are saying Williams was not on the bench in the second half because of a stomach ache.
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