Quantcast
NBA / Aug 31, 2010 / 10:30 am

LeBron is Gone, so Mo Williams is The Man in Cleveland

As the saying goes, one door closing means another door is opening somewhere. Or something like that.

While the immediate future looks bleak for the Cleveland Cavaliers without LeBron James, one of the few people set to benefit in the new era is All-Star point guard Mo Williams, who becomes the go-to guy on a team that’s used to being in the playoff mix. Like Homer Simpson, Mo (who got his first chance to shine in the pros when T.J. Ford got hurt in Milwaukee) is again realizing the greatness of the word “default.”

In an article from today’s Akron Beacon Journal, Williams talks about a recent unplanned meeting with LeBron in Cleveland’s airport, the first time the two had met since LeBron decided to leave the Cavs.

Back in July, soon after LeBron told the world he was going to Miami, Mo tweeted that their relationship had taken “leaps and bounds backwards.”

Today, after a “clear-the-air” discussion with LeBron that Mo told the paper was “much needed,” he said he’s supportive of his ex-teammate.

With that out of the way, attention now turns to Mo — who rejected a big contract offer from Miami when he was a free agent in ’07 and opted to re-sign with Milwaukee — is going to lead this Cavaliers team.

Verbally he’s embraced the role of leader and de facto star, and has said all the right things about wanting to finish his career in Cleveland and keep the team in championship contention. But is that possible for a 6-foot-1, shoot-first point guard who doesn’t have a history of leading successful NBA teams? From the Beacon Journal:

Cavs coach Byron Scott watched Williams’ game change playing alongside James for two years and now wants Williams to revert back to the player he used to be with the Milwaukee Bucks.

”Sometimes a star like [James] is so talented and can do so many things with the ball, sometimes you get lost because you don’t have the ball in your hands like you’re used to,” Scott said. ”[James] can get you a better shot than you can get yourself. A guy like Mo who can break people down and run the pick and roll, all of a sudden you find yourself as more of a spot-up shooter. You can get lost sometimes like that.”

Like he did in Milwaukee, Mo again has the green light. More than that, he’ll be expected to get his without the distraction of LeBron drawing the defense, or Shaq commanding attention on the block. And this time he doesn’t even have a Michael Redd to turn to in the backcourt. Mo will not only have to get his buckets, but oversee the development of youngsters like J.J. Hickson and create looks for limited offensive players like Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker and Anderson Varejao. The only other threat to score close to 20 points a night on Cleveland’s roster is Antawn Jamison.

But maybe this is a good thing. Contrary to what you’d believe, while Mo’s scoring dipped in the time he played with LeBron after coming over from Milwaukee, some of his shooting percentages actually dropped as well. In his last year with the Bucks he shot 48 percent from the field, compared to last season when he made 44 percent. His three-point percentages did rise from playing with LeBron, though, from 38 percent in ’08 to 42 percent in ’10.

Mo Williams has the ability to drop 20 a night sans-LeBron, and he’ll probably have to if the Cavs have even a chance of making it back to the playoffs. He’ll also have to maintain the short memory preferred by NFL quarterbacks and cornerbacks, and forget about the inevitable bad shooting nights and shooting slumps that will come. Because even if he’s hitting closer to 40 percent from the field than 50 percent, Mo just has to keep shooting.

The wide-open looks LeBron provided won’t be there anymore, and defenses will now key in on No. 2, who is no longer a No. 2 in the offense.

How do you think the Cavs will fare with Mo Williams leading the way?

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • https://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    I don’t see Mo as leading the way, I think Jamison will really be the leader as far as points.

    Why don’t A.I. and Cleveland hook up?

  • control

    If I were a Cavs fan (assuming they have any left), reading this headline and story would have me reaching for cyanide pills. Mo Williams as your best player and leader=19 wins in the East, tops. Maybe even less.

    Funniest line in this is the one about Mo Williams overseeing the development of the younger guy on the roster. What is Mo going to teach any younger guy on the roster? How to jack shots early in the shot clock?

  • Heckler

    if Mo Williams is your best option, then you aint gonna fare well.

    midway thru the season, folks will be talking about the Cleveland Cavs relocating to another city.

  • Heckler

    all the (rumored) players the Heat don’t sign (steve francis, antoine walker, steph marbury, larry hughes, jerry stackhouse, allen iverson, shareef abdur-rahim etc) should all sign with the Cavs

  • http://WWoWonaleunamedare Jay10do

    The Cavs suck

  • Ross

    I think people look at the situation the wrong way. In the seven years Lebron was there they did not win the chip. One finals appearance. So In many ways one can argue they have a chance to rebuild a team, which is what wins. A couple years in the lottery and a free agent pick up here and there and they will be back in the fold.

  • Joe’s Momma

    Thats bad news for Byron Scott and the Cavs

  • LakeShow84

    I would think your 20&10 player would be your #1 option..

    Mo Williams is your #1 PERIMETER OPTION..

    Jamison been there and done all this.. well except lead a successful team lol but dude is professional enough to get it done under the circumstances..

  • Promoman

    Funny thing is, Mo Williams is a better point than TJ Ford right now.

  • Knicksfan84

    Cleveland REALLY should sign Allen Iverson, give him what he wants and tell him to go out like a winner and defeat all the doubters.

  • NYK

    if they resigned Shaq before Boston took him, took AI and signed Tracy McGrady before detroit did away they’d have a better chance of winning a championship before LeBron does than they do in their current sad lineup.

    if not, at least it will keep the Cavs relevant and sell some tickets.

  • http://WWoWonaleunamedare Jay10do

    @NYK Yea they could sale Tickets wit Ivo,T-Mac and Shaq, but kno chance of winning a championship at all b4 the Heat! Hell no not at all, Lebron and Wade would destroy them easy……. Shaq put him in ah wheel chair and push his ass in the old folks home lol! T-Mac who is Mr.Injury wouldn’t last, throw him in ah hospital bed, and Iverson OMG! u see the results, don’t nobody want ya dog…

  • fLaVa

    Is Jamison even gonna start for Scott or will be come off as the 6th man? I know the Cavs wanna run so i think Hickson is the better option for Scott at the 4. Varajina is definately starting at 5 so i dont know where jamison fits.

  • NYK

    @Jay10do

    i didnt mean they will. what i meant is their current lineup is just sad compared to what it would’ve been if they signed the 3 all-stars veterans.

    at least it shows like Dan Gilbert was trying to do something to backup his outlandish promise.

    it’s as ridiculous as if the raptors said Demarr Derozan will drop 81 on Kobe and lakers. come on!

  • LeBron James

    GO CAVS!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • dean

    Everyone’s forgetting we have a new coach who knows how to use players and knows offense. Browns’ worst coaching was not knowing how to get Jamison scoring against Boston. Brown’s other brain fart was not using guys who were productive, like JJ Hickson, in the playoffs. Maybe that was leBron’s decision. In any case both Brown’s and leBron’s coaching are gone. Bye bye.

    Everyone’s forgetting Mo had nice numbers on at least one of the nights LeBron took a staycation. He’s had other great nights when LeBron didn’t feel he had to be the man.

    The problem overall was LeBron had to be the guy and wouldn’t let others shine. Now we’ll actually have a team and people will be able to contribute.

  • dean

    FYI, in case you didn’t notice, AI is a team cancer. There’s a reason he wasn’t on the last Olympic team and a reason we actually won it. That has to be the stupidest suggestion.

    And we don’t want Shaq either. In case you noticed, he choked in the playoffs. So did Z. Bye bye.

  • D Dubs

    I WANT Mo to retire a Cavalier. Before he does, I’d like him to take this young team (including him), and show management he CAN be a leader. If he doesn’t, he’ll be gone at the trade deadline. I want the Cavs to build around Mo and Hickson. That would make me happy. Oh, by the way, Melo wants traded.

  • DJ

    Cleveland will win 35-40 games this season, and they have aquired some useful draftpicks along with a great coach who has a reputation to make decent teams a contender.
    Mo is underrated, people like to hate on him for unknown reasons but he shall show his true abilities without the dark shadow of lebron james. The cav’s have a bright future. dont keep your hopes up for teams like new york or new jersey they fail you every year. Amare will not preform half as well without steve nash’s playing abilities. new jersey will win two more games then they did last embarrassing season after getting Even turner,if you want to hate on the teams, hate on MIAMI, their already celebrating there championship.

  • http://n/a Jimmy581

    Well here is my problem with Miami’s decision. If you take 3 outstanding players who can average 27 point per game and put them on the same team, they aren’t going to average 27 points anymore. Someone is going to become the alpha male of that team and LeBron, although an amazing player, just kissed his 3rd MVP title in a row goodbye. I believe that given 2 or 3 seasons, there are a couple of guys who can lead the cavs. My money may be on Williams. The only thing that worries me about them is the amount of trades in general that went on. Its a total rebuild and if it fails, its going to hurt Mo just because of the pressure put on him.

  • tremain

    I THINK WE CAN DO IT YOU KNOW WHAT NO ONE EVERBELIEVED THE DETROIT PISTONS COULD WIN LIKE THEY DID IF YOU PUT A TEAM OF B CLASS PLAYER TOGETHER THAT CAN PLAY WELL TOGETHER THEN YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHANCE OF WINNING I BELIEVE THEY WILL MAKE IT BACK TO THE PLAYOFFS

  • tremain

    I THINK WE CAN DO IT YOU KNOW WHAT NO ONE EVERBELIEVED THE DETROIT PISTONS COULD WIN LIKE THEY DID IF YOU PUT A TEAM OF B CLASS PLAYER TOGETHER THAT CAN PLAY WELL TOGETHER THEN YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHANCE OF WINNING I BELIEVE THEY WILL MAKE IT BACK TO THE PLAYOFFS

  • http://ezinearticles.com/?3-Explosive-Workouts-to-Jump-Much-Higher&id=4928019 Brendon Helsing

    I can understand why Mo Williams would want to leave. What I don’t understand is why LeBron would leave for the Miami Heat in the first place…

  • http://ezinearticles.com/?3-Explosive-Workouts-to-Jump-Much-Higher&id=4928019 Christopher Mckirryher

    I can understand why Mo Williams would want to leave. What I don’t understand is why LeBron would leave for the Miami Heat in the first place…