It's been a while since Marvin Williams had a side of the floor cleared out for him to go to work.
He hasn't been called upon to play that role for the Hawks very often this season, not with the regime change and Hawks coach Larry Drew using him off the bench almost as much as he does in the starting lineup.
To his credit, Williams has rolled with every punch, good and bad, without much of a stir. He's never complained publicly about being shuffled back and forth between the starting lineup and the bench. And he's never once bemoaned the lack of a defined role for him in Drew's rotation.
His patience and professionalism was rewarded handsomely with Joe Johnson out of the lineup Sunday in Cleveland.
That opened the for Williams to slide into the starting shooting guard spot and see if he had what it takes to dominate Cleveland's motley backcourt crew.
A season-high 31 points, two off of his career high, later and it was clear that Williams had every advantage necessary against the hapless Cavaliers. He was a man possessed and played like it with the Cavs throwing inferior defenders at him the entire night.
"He got in a groove (Sunday) that we haven't seen him in for quite a while," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "It's nice to see him get after it like that. You know he has that sort of aggressiveness in him and at times he just needs to unleash it."
HAWKS 99, CAVALIERS 83: Who needs Joe Johnson anyway? That's what Hawks forward Marvin Williams said with his play Sunday night in Cleveland. He scored a season-high 31 points starting in Johnson's spot at shooting guard -- for the record, the Hawks are 6-4 without Johnson in the lineup this season. Williams took full advantage of the situation and shot a blistering 9-for-14 from the floor, including three three-pointers, and made eight of nine shots from the free throw line. Josh Smith chipped in with 13 points, a season-high 18 rebounds and eight assists, while chasing a triple-double. Sure, the Hawks played the worst team in the league. But the way they've been playing lately, not even that could be taken for granted. The Hawks already clinched their playoff berth a night earlier, so they thumped the Cavaliers strictly because they could.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.