The Phoenix Suns have a handful of talented players on their roster, but second-year forward Alan Williams is coming alive out of nowhere.
In Phoenix, their team is constructed much like an AAU team — a ton of individual talent that hasn’t quite gelled as a team. Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe are the big names, with Brandon Knight, T.J. Warren and Marquese Chriss being productive as of late. Hidden behind those numbers is Alan Williams, a sophomore who’s been playing tremendously.
The Suns are 2-3 in their last five contests, but you could make the argument that Williams has been their best player. His 14.8 points a night are fourth on the team behind Bledsoe, Booker and Warren, but his shooting clip of 63 percent is way above the first two on that list. All of his production comes off the bench, and it’s a luxury when a coach has a sixth man who can jump in and inhale nine rebounds in just 25 minutes. Williams has posted three double-doubles in his five games, hauling in 15, 12 and 13 boards on those nights. He’s been an absolute beast on the offensive glass, and Phoenix’s opponents struggle to keep Williams off of the backboards.
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Only seven players have pulled down more offensive boards over the last five, and Williams has played fewer minutes than all of them, per NBA.com.
His energy translates to defense seamlessly. Williams has been tremendous on that end, leading the team with seven blocks in those five games — despite being 6-8. Just for good measure, he’s picked off five steals, and his activity makes you forget about his 3.6 nightly fouls.
All of those numbers are outstanding, but there’s one that really drills home the point that Williams has been insanely beneficial: his plus-minus is plus-19, second on the team to Leandro Barbosa and a number that’s vastly better than what Booker, Bledsoe and Warren have. That’s not to say that Williams should get minutes over those guys, but him being on the court alongside them is for the betterment of the team.
Williams went undrafted in 2015 after four seasons at UC-Santa Barbara, and he’ll be a free agent this summer. His playing time should stay the same since Phoenix has almost no chance of making the postseason, and a generous deal could fall into his lap if he continues to put up numbers like this.
All stats courtesy of NBA.com and Basketball-Reference
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