BROOKLYN -- When James Webb III describes the difference between the NBA and G League, his answer immediately reveals what kind of player he is.
“Just the physicality that the refs let you play with,” Webb III told BrooklynNets.com. “You touch someone in the G League and it’s a foul. The pace is a little bit quicker and the spacing is a whole lot better.”
Webb III is a two-way player for the Nets, who until Jan. 27, was playing with the team’s Long Island G League affiliate. The forward made his NBA debut that day in Minneapolis and has been playing a surprising amount of minutes – 12.7 per game. With Rondae Hollis-Jefferson still recovering from a right groin strain, the Nets likely hope Webb III can help fill some of the void with similar intangibles. He revealed what Atkinson expects from him.
“Just to play my game, bring energy every game,” he said. “Every time I step on the floor to knock down open shots when I got them. Just do the stuff that I do, the hustle plays. “
He has shown some promising signs so far.
“He plays hard, he’s a great guy,” Atkinson said after Monday’s practice. “He hasn’t made a ton of shots, but he can obviously spread the floor. He shoots the ball, he’s athletic. He can run and he’s obviously active – he had five rebounds [against Milwaukee].”
He added, “Very pleased, credit to our G League team that we can all the sudden throw this guy in and he’s + 9 in a couple of games – he��s helping us.”
Offense is an area that Webb III needs to work on as the forward is currently shooting just 15.4 percent. Still, he’s had a few big plays in his first five games in the NBA. Against the Bucks on Sunday, three of his five boards were on the offensive end, giving the Nets some desperately-needed extra possessions when the team was making a run in the third quarter.
He plays fearlessly and doesn’t appear to be fazed by the jump to the NBA.
“Nah," Webb III said with a laugh when asked if he celebrated his NBA debut. "It wasn’t anything special. It’s what I get paid to do."