Earlier this season, the Indiana Pacers considered sending rookie Shawne Williams
to the NBA Development League.
Now, with their accumulation of injuries and losses, he's getting his developmental opportunity with them.
After spending the season's first 22 games on the inactive list, Williams has played double-figure minutes in eight of the past 10 games heading into tonight's meeting with San Antonio at Conseco Fieldhouse.
He has shown flashes of why the Pacers made him the 17th pick in last June's draft, such as when he scored 13 points in his NBA debut at Chicago on Dec. 11 and when he scored 19 at New Jersey on Wednesday.
He also has shown the lack of refinement that inevitably comes with 21-year-old rookies.
"He really has talent and he'll be a terrific player, but he's going to have to work in the summers and get technique that's going to work (in games)," Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh
"He's kind of taking what comes to him right now. But he's got enough talent that someday he can make the play and make it happen."
Coach Rick Carlisle
said he has tweaked his offense to create opportunities for Williams, who is averaging 3.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in his 37 appearances, and plans to continue using him as one of his first two options off the bench.
"I've got a lot of learning to do," Williams said. "There's a lot of stuff I mess up on that people probably don't notice."
Williams missed all but the first summer league game last year after injuring his hamstring but looks forward to a busier summer. He'll do his work at Conseco Fieldhouse.
"I'm a resident of Indianapolis. I've got to be here with my house," he said.