Houston Rockets Shooting Guard Lou Williams (27 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists)
The second half of the NBA season got underway on Thursday night. The biggest storyline was the debut of All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins for the Pelicans. However, in their matchup against the Rockets, it was another debutant, Lou Williams, who stole the show. On Tuesday, the Rockets acquired Williams from the Lakers in return for Corey Brewer and a first-round pick. Despite Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni saying Williams would just be getting his feet wet and not playing big minutes early on, Williams led the Rockets with 27 points in 25 minutes on the floor. He shot 9 for 16 from the field, knocking down seven threes and leading the Rockets to a blowout road win by the score of 129-99.
As far as the scoring goes, this is nothing new for Williams. Prior to the trade, he was the leading scorer on the Lakers roster despite coming off the bench, averaging 18.6 points per game. Earlier in the season, he set an NBA record for the most points scored in a four-game stretch by a bench player with 137. The man knows how to put the ball in the basket. But in his Rockets debut, nobody could have seen this coming. He did not even join the team until earlier in the day on Thursday, and he played last night without getting a practice or shoot around with his new teammates. Williams, who was one of the leading candidates for Sixth Man of the Year, joins a Rockets team that was already second in the league with 114.7 points per game. With the MVP frontrunner in James Harden surrounded by Williams and several other capable scorers, it appears the Rockets now represent the best threat in the Western conference to dethrone the Warriors.