In addition to getting a chance to speak with Anthony Parker yesterday prior to the Cavaliers - Clippers game, I also caught up with Cleveland's own Jawad Williams for a minute on his way into the locker room after shootaround. Williams played 12 minutes in the first half yesterday and scored 12 points on 4 of 7 from the field. He also grabbed a rebound and had two assists before sitting out most of the second half while nursing a sore back. Our pregame exchange is below...
StepienRules: Did you get a chance to talk with Coach Williams the other night when he was in town?
Jawad Williams: Yeah, I talked to him briefly after the game, and he just told me to continue to work hard.
StepienRules: Have you stopped to think this season that it wasn't too long ago you were an undrafted free agent bouncing around between Spain, Japan and Israel, and now here you are as a rotation player for Cavs?
Jawad Williams: I am just continuing to look forward at this point, but I do know where I come from. I am very thankful for this situation, so all I can do now is just continue to work hard, and hopefully things will continue to get better for me.
StepienRules: You've been contributing in a variety of ways this season - on the defensive end, as a rebounder, as well as stretching the floor offensively from the perimeter. Is there one thing over the other that Mike Brown has told you he needs 'this' from you 'at least' every night?
Jawad Williams: No, not one thing in particular over the other, just a little bit of everything. My role can change on any given night, on some nights it could be strictly to play defense and rebound, and I'm willing to accept that, and I feel like as long as I continue to do what they ask me to do I think I'll be fine.
StepienRules: Was there one thing you were able to learn about your game in your time overseas that you might not have been able to learn had you not had that experience?
Jawad Williams: The biggest thing was efficiency. Trying to be efficient and consistent every night. In the NBA its more of an individual game. Not saying that we're not a team, but in the NBA its more about match-ups. Overseas its more of a team game, where everyone's getting involved, and you have to be efficient when your time comes. Learning that playing overseas, I really think helped me a lot.
Thoughts on Leon Powe from Pregame:
I spent a good portion of pregame yesterday standing on the court watching Leon Powe warm-up as well, and I have to say, the guy looked pretty healthy to me.
Now that said, I realize all he was doing was catching passes from a 16-year old ball boy, and attacking the basket with nobody in front of him like Shep used to do after Nutso passed, but still, he seemed to be going pretty hard. He was definetely exploding off that leg some, and I didn't see him limping around at all during the 30 minutes or so he was out there. He dunked a few times as well, and on one of those dunks he brought the ball back over his head with two hands and brought it down with some power...so we'll see. I certainly walked away encouraged at the possibilities there.