...Marvin Williams: Sixth Man of the Year.
Now, we've talked to Josh Childress before about coming off the bench (he didn't like how he was treated as a non-starter by coach and team while in the ATL) and we've seen Jamal Crawford embrace the role (being nationally recognized as something more than a volume scorer and playing on losers will do that), so now we turn to Marvin Williams, whom some have been asking to come off the bench for a while, given that he might be able to shine more offensively since he wouldn't be fighting the other members of the starting five for shots and also helping an offensively challenged second unit.
With Larry Drew going with Jason Collins in Orlando the other night, Marvin went to the bench to try on the role for size. His thoughts? Ummmm....maybe he's not quite down with that yet.
From Hoopsworld's Lang Greene:
"No. I wasn't cool with it man," said Williams to HOOPSWORLD about being benched. "It was something different. I've been starting here since my second year here, but it was a choice he (Drew) felt like he had to make and I had to live with it. I don't know if he'll ever make that change again and I wouldn't be surprised if he did. But like I said, I've been a starter pretty much since I've been here but he chose to make that change and I have to live with it."
Somewhere in Phoenix, Josh Childress is snickering, being that it was Williams who pushed him from the lineup, relegating him to the "energy guy" status he resented.
This was different, this wasn't so much a demotion as it was a strategic play, and Williams finished the game in Orlando, which to me is a far more prestigious role than starting the game, eh Royal Ivey?
Statistically speaking, there is too small a sample size to indicate whether Marvin or the Hawks would be better suited with Williams in the bench role, with only one lineup off the bench even measuring 20 minutes total on the floor.
It's a situation that bears watching, as the lineup of Bibby-Johnson-Smith-Horford-Collins has been productive and if the idea is to make the team's best player, Al Horford, more productive and not have to gather fouls defending the bigger players in the league, then Larry Drew may just have the contractually bound Marvin fester a bit while he does what he thinks is best for the team.
From the AJC's Ken Sugiura:
"He was a real pro and I didn't expect anything different from him," Drew said.
Exit Question: Do you see a long term benefit of having Marvin coming off the bench or should it be a matchup only change for Al's sake?