Having rooted for Marvin Williams for 8 games now, I have a slightly better understanding of why Atlanta’s fans always had such high expectations for him. He looks amazing doing everything. His shot looks incredibly smooth, his defense looks like it is impenetrable, and he never seems like he’s out of control. Thankfully, we don’t have any draft remorse so he should be fine with Jazz fans, but it’s still worth mentioning. After Utah traded for him in July, I moped around for two days because Devin Harris got kicked out the door after carrying the Jazz to the playoffs, and then I realized that Marvin Williams is one of the most interesting, compelling players that has ever played for Utah and I lost my head and compared his career to one of the greatest bands of our generation.
Offseason Accomplishments: Was the nicest guy ever in his introductory press conference after he was traded to the Jazz; made a bunch of threes in the preseason.
Stat to Watch: Defensive Rating. While his outside shooting is really important to Utah’s success, his most important contribution will come if he turns out to be the lock-down defensive wing the Jazz have been missing. He should really thrive on D guarding small forwards all the time after Atlanta put him at power forward where he was at a disadvantage guarding bigger guys.
Three Potential Outcomes of the Season:
1. He averages 10 or 12 points per game, 27 minutes a night, and always sits in crunch time. He is neither a huge addition or a huge liability; he falls into a moderate role and is neither loved nor reviled by the Jazz universe. His three-point shooting is average, his rebounding is average, his defense is average. He picks up his player option for next season and everyone shrugs.
2. He steps up on the defensive end and starts locking down people like DeMar DeRozan. Between his perimeter defense and an increasing role for Derrick Favors, Utah starts to build an identity around being a defensive juggernaut. Having actually found an identity, the Jazz live up to their potential and earn the fourth seed in the playoffs, making it to the second round before losing to the Spurs again… though we’d actually win at least one game this time.
3. As Randy Foye keeps shooting well (and plentifully) from long range, Ty Corbin decides to go in the complete opposite direction and benches Marvin so that Mo, Foye, Hayward, Millsap, and Jefferson can score lots of points and give up even more points. Marvin, Favors, Kanter and Burks consider starting their own Utopian basketball team where everyone- young and old, expiring contract or rookie contract- is free to play basketball according to their abilities. The Jazz miss the playoffs and Marvin is sad.