The NBA season is back in full-swing, and the Heat were able to pick up their first victory of the season on Wednesday. It seemed as if everyone looked comfortable with the new offense.
Well, everyone but Shawne Williams.
Williams, who got the starting nod in the Heat’s first game as Josh McRoberts recovers from offseason toe surgery, finished the game one for nine, shooting a porous 11-percent. The team was able to get him open for several open three-point jumpers, but he was unable to hit one of the six he shot.
His performance should raise concerns, even if it was the first game. With McRoberts’ return date up in the air, the Heat need a viable-replacement for him, and Williams does not look like the player Spoelstra was hyping him up to be.
Via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinal,
"“Keep your eye on him,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s an excellent shooter and in much better shape than he’s been in before. He just needs to be comfortable with where and when and how he’ll get to those shots. He’s one of the better shooters we have in our gym.”"
There is no doubt that Williams had a cold night, but should Spoelstra think about benching him? Williams is no long-term starter, but with every game being ever-so vital for the Heat, Winderman believes that the loss of McRoberts hurts everyone on the team.
"While Shawne Williams has had his moments as a placement starter, when McRoberts returns from his offseason toe surgery, I think you’ll see the other starters getting better looks because of his passing, particularly Luol Deng. Only then can the Heat get a true read on what they have, while also figuring out the best way to then utilize Williams. The Heat will open the season very much as a work in progress."
Moreover, Haslem and Granger are viable options to replace Williams at the four. To the critics that say Granger is too small and not physical enough to play the four, think of Shane Battier and what he was able to do in his tenure with the Heat. Granger has proven to be a knockdown shooter in his career–38% from three for his career.
Winderman added that Granger could find some time at the four if backcourt help isn’t needed. If it is, Winderman believes Pat Riley could go out and find help via Free Agency.
"To a degree, Granger at the four could be a matter of what James Ennis can provide on the wing. The reality is the Heat are far thinner on the wing than the power rotation. But if Granger does eventually slot in behind McRoberts at power forward, and with Chris Andersen as the backup to Chris Bosh, it could severely limited the possibilities for Udonis Haslem. The real issue for the Heat is how thin the depth is on the wing in a perimeter-oriented league. From that perspective, I think there will be more of a need for Granger at the three or even two. Or for Pat Riley to find another wing."
The Heat have a lot of depth this year, especially when Josh McRoberts is able to return. I believe Spoelstra will experiment with the lineup in the next couple of games, just to see if any player, particular Granger, is able to be a plug-in-play type of player in the starting lineup.
The McBob show has been delayed and Heat fans can only hope Shawne Williams can find his shooting touch.