(Erica Rodriguez/Los Angeles Lakers)
2019 Player Capsules: Johnathan Williams
A few days into the season, the Lakers realized that they had a need for a defensive-minded center. Enter Johnathan Williams — an undrafted rookie from their summer league team that they subsequently inked to a two-way contract.
While Williams spent most of the season in the G League, he certainly had his moments up in the NBA.
His defense was formidable, particularly in his first game of his career, when his three blocks were key in an overtime battle with San Antonio.
The Lakers often used the 6-foot-9, 228-pounder as a small-ball center, while also finding him some minutes at power forward. He fit right into the team’s fast-paced offense, hitting 15-of-17 in transition and 69.1 percent in the restricted area.
And he picked up his production when given a shot post-All-Star, averaging 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and a 60.0 field goal percentage in his last four games.
By the Numbers
30: Dunks put down by Williams. Nearly half of his 65 buckets in the NBA were slams.
36: Games played in the G League. He spent most of the year with the South Bay Lakers, averaging 15.3 points and 8.4 rebounds, while shooting 54.8 percent from the field.
94: Percentage of his NBA shot attempts that were in the paint. He rarely ventured away from the hoop, as 103 of his 110 shots came in the key.
The 23-year-old enters his first NBA offseason with a few directives from the Lakers’ brass.
At his end-of-season interview, Williams said he was told to develop his jumper from elbow range, which he struggled with in South Bay this year.
He was also instructed to continue improving his successful areas, including switching across positions and hitting the glass.
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