Williamson spent significant time with his stepfather, Lee Anderson, harping on the core principles of his game in recent weeks. With the 2019/20 NBA season officially restarting in Orlando, Williamson is looking to build on what’s already been an impressive rookie campaign.
“His stepfather did a fantastic job of working him out every day, of making him be in good conditioning when we got him back,” head coach Alvin Gentry said. “He’s made a lot of strides in his shooting, I think. Although we weren’t together, he did a lot to improve his game.”
Williamson is averaging 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 29.7 minutes in 19 games this season, displaying unprecedented athleticism and power in his first year with the team. New Orleans is tentatively scheduled to have its first scrimmage on Wednesday, July 22 against Brooklyn.
Here are some other notes out of the Southwest Division:
- Rockets stars Russell Westbrook and James Harden are expected to arrive in Orlando soon, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. Houston had its first team practice on Saturday without the star duo, with head coach Mike D’Antoni hinting that the two All-Star guards will likely join the club in the next few days.
- Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal examines how Justise Winslow fits in with the Grizzlies, particularly under head coach Taylor Jenkins’ offensive system. Jenkins indicated that Winslow will likely be used in a play-making role during the NBA’s resumed season, Barnes writes. “His versatility is really going to come out in our style of play,” Jenkins said. “That’s why I talk about him being just a great fit and a perfect fit for our system because he can play multiple positions on offense.”
- Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News explores how much playoff experience will matter for the Mavericks, whose top two players (Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis) have yet to see postseason action in their careers. The typical home and road atmospheres that teams usually encounter in the playoffs naturally won’t be the same this year due to COVID-19. “It’s hard for me to predict that, how it’s going to be,” Porzingis admitted. “This is going to be my first experience and no matter what the circumstances are, I’m going to try to get the most out of it and get the most experience and play the highest level basketball I’ve ever played.”