Why Alan Williams Should Start For The Phoenix Suns
My favourite thing to watch in the NBA is bigman play. Ever since I was young, watching guys like Shaq, KG, Tim Duncan, Ben Wallace, and Suns legend Amare’ Stoudimire, has always been the best part of the game. Early in my life, I was enamoured with the big dunks, and the huge blocks that would come from these players, as it was just more exciting than people shooting jumpshots. As I grew and began to understand the game better, I was better able to appreciate what these players actually did. Rebounds, screens, post passing, deterring shots at the rim, these were the things that your team needed to do effectively to win. The Suns for a long time have lacked a player who brought these things to the table, and have tried to go through the draft in search of a stable bigman. Alex Len, drafted number five overall in 2013, has by the statistics, been a below average player throughout his career. Alec Brown, a seven foot one inch second round pick from 2014, never became an NBA player. Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender, the Suns’ two lottery picks this year, both have quite slim builds, and are better accustomed working outside of the paint. However there is one player who the Suns took a flyer on that they didn’t draft. In fact, nobody drafted him. After a year in China, Alan ‘Big Sauce’ Williams finally got his shot in the big leagues.
I love Alan Williams. I’ve been a big fan of his from his college days at UC Santa Barbra, and I’ve never understood why he hasn’t gotten much of an opportunity at the NBA level. He was a dominant force in college, finishing his career as the all-time Big West Conference leader in offensive, defensive, and total rebounding percentage, whilst also sitting atop the Big West in all-time efficiency with a 31.4 PER. Despite all of his collegiate success, Williams went undrafted in 2015. He was picked up by the Houston Rockets for the Summer League, where he impressed, averaging 20 points and over 11 rebounds per game, however, this was not enough for a spot on an NBA roster, leading Williams overseas, where he dominated China. Finally, after leading the Chinese league in rebounding, Williams was given a ten-day contract with the Phoenix Suns, and the rest is history.
In the past year watching Williams, it is clear to me that he is what the Suns need. Williams provides a massive body down low, and a rebounding force not seen in Phoenix since Charles Barkley. Over his short NBA career, Williams has a total rebound percentage (the percentage of all rebounds a player grabs whilst on the court) of 28.6%. To put that in perspective, Dennis Rodman had a TRB% of 23.4%. The pure rebounding force that is Alan Williams is a must have on the court as the NBA continues to get smaller, as it allows the Suns second chance opportunities, and takes away offensive rebounds from their opponent. The Suns have simply been better with Williams on the floor than they have with him off. They have a better overall net rating, they block more shots, and they get more steals, all when he is on court.
Alan Williams of course is not perfect, but he is a steady, stable building block that the Suns should take full advantage of while they can. Putting Williams in a role where he can start the game on the floor will mitigate the damage done by other teams starters when they destroy us on the offensive glass. Williams provides a security blanket so that players like Bender and Chriss don’t have to shoulder the load of guarding the opposing teams best big-men. We are very early in the NBA career of Alan Williams, and he may not be the shining star that the Suns form their team around, however, he is a crucial piece in this rebuild.
What do you guys think? Is he a big part of the Suns going forward? Or am I just being biased because I love the man? Let me know in the comments below.