L.A. Lakers Need Slumping Lou Williams to Be Their Go-to Scorer

Along with the rest of his teammates, Lou Williams’ first season with the Los Angeles Lakers has been a demoralizing spectacle. The team is 5-27—worst in the Western Conference and second-worst in the NBA. 

Signing him in July as one of the most efficient and experienced daggers on the open market, the Lakers brought in Williams to help prevent a complete and total collapse by the offense.

As it turns out, that task is impossible for any one player; Kobe Bryant’s bad habits, disorienting decisions from the sideline and an incongruous roster all serve as a shatterproof roadblock on the path to a successful season.

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is now the Lakers’ starting shooting guard, a role he wasn’t brought in to fill. But all year he’s quietly plugged away as one of L.A.’s most effective scorers.

How is that possible, being that he’s shooting below 40 percent from the floor?

Well, Williams has made the most of a bad situation by magnifying his most impressive skill: the ability to draw fouls. 

Watch any Lakers game for 10 minutes and there’s a good chance you’ll see Williams bait his defender into a comically bad mistake 24 feet from the basket. It never gets old and, for whatever reason, has yet to catch on as something opposing players watch out for.

“I used to guard him, messing around in practice when I was working him out, and I could never not foul him,” Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nick Nurse told Bleacher Report. “I was trying to keep my hands back and all kinds of things like that, but he’s just good. The rhythm of what he does, he never does it the same way twice. Like, when he’s going to shoot, how many dribbles, he doesn’t take it up straight away all the time.”

Last year, as a member of the Raptors, Williams averaged .426...

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