Scouting: Alan Williams

Name: Alan Williams
Date of Birth: 28th of January 1993
Nationality: USA
Height: 2,03m
Weight: 120 kg
Pro since: 2015
Club: Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (VTB, Eurocup)
Role: Inside Big
Key Skills: Rebounding, Inside Scoring, Screensetting


Background

Alan Williams is a 27-year-old old school big, that dominates inside and racks up huge rebounding numbers. Playing for Lokomotiv Kuban marks his first season in Europe after a couple of NBA/G League stints and a season in China (2015-16).


Strengths

Rebounding. Really is a rebounding machine. Takes it personal. Big factor on the glass and a walking double double. 9.8 rebounds per game in under 25 minutes! Huge presence inside. Opponents can’t move him around because of his body. Sheer force of nature and stronger than almost anyone. Really fights for rebounds, hustles. Knows where to be. Rebounds his own misses. Rebounding numbers are simply off the charts, although he sometimes profits from his own misses and shortcomings at the rim.

Inside Scoring. Establishes deep inside position thanks to his body. Seals his defender perfectly. Powers through his man or uses right handed hook shots in the post. Draws fouls. Really physical and hard to defend. Doesn’t get bothered by contact. Rebounds his own misses, gets second chance points. Not super crafty in the post, but fears noone and collects his points. Rolls to the rim.

Draws fouls. 4.8 FTA per game while shooting 74.3% from the line. Hard to stop under the basket, gets hacked. Leans into defenders, likes to draw contact. Provokes foul calls. Tries to go through guys.

Screen Setting. Good screen setter. Regularly makes it a two on one. Knows how to use his body, shifts midway through the process. Leans into the defender with his butt, rarely gets penalized. Big factor.

Contests pullup shooters (PnR). Gives up tons of midrange pull-ups due to his PnR coverage, but contests them really well. Defends better than his body language might suggest. Bails opponents into taking one of basketball’s least effecient shots. Waits until the last second to really contest the shot, knowing his opponent will take the jumper if he gives him enough daylight at first sight. Really stretches and bends himself. Still doesn’t jump high, but with his size and his body making a serious contest is a big difference to just chillin in the paint.
(Important to note here: Applies only to actions, where he’s directly involved. Big difference to actions, where he’s defending off the ball.)


Weaknesses

Athleticism and mobility. “Only” 6’8. Below the rim finisher, not a lob threat. Not a leaper, doesn’t get off the ground much. Big body, not very fast and agile.

Consistent, high-level defense. Overall not a good defender due to body/mobility limitations. Not a versatile pick and roll defender. Plays old school drop back D almost all the time. Does it surprisingly well if he’s locked in, sometimes perfectly measuring the distance between him and the opposing ballhandler. But has some really bad moments too. Doesnt like to defend in space or outside the paint. Horrible in a pick and pop setting. Needs a defensive-minded guard to go over screens and cover some of his weaknesses. Not made for a switch heavy system. Really bad off the ball, gives up tons of open looks. Loses his man. So-so rim protector, really inconsistent. From great to bad (and vice versa) real quick.

Inside polish. Likes to score with pure strength instead of craftiness. Relies on drawing fouls and getting calls. Moves are predictable. Hook shot with his right or jumping straight into the defender. Avoids his left hand! Not a quick rim runner, not fast and athletic enough to just dribble and dunk the ball against lurking help defense. Has to get creative with floaters/push shots after picking up the ball in the short roll area. Doesn’t produce enough easy baskets as a roll man.

Foul trouble. 3.5 fouls per game in under 25 minutes. Sounds even more concerning than it really is, but still worth to keep an eye on. Not a guy with one particular problem regarding foul trouble, but always picks one up here and there. Plays with physicality, always on the edge of legality.


Outlook

Evaluating Alan Williams isn’t easy. Putting up a near double double in Eurocup competition for a powerhouse like Kuban should normally earn you a second big contract with said team or a spot on a Euroleague roster. However – things might be different in this case. Yes he’ll be able to put up huge stats no matter the competition. In times where teams are going small for huge portions of the game, having a big body down low can be an asset. That’s the positive side. His defense and his consistency however are concerning. Don’t blame him for giving up inefficient midrange shots. It might look lazy, but it’s not. Still, he’s far from a great defender and definitely not consistent enough over a course of a game or even a season. Great teams will game plan for him and score against him, especially on the highest level. So what’s the conclusion here?
Teams in need of interior scoring and rebounding should take a hard look at Williams. Big Euroleague teams however should be able to get cheaper and more reliable options and bank on guys with more defensive consistency throughout the season. Williams has the potential to be a force on any team, but his season with Kuban was too up and down to just mark him down as a player on a EL roster next season.

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