Last night the Jazz had their best wins of the year holding off the San Antonio Spurs 99-96. Mo Williams hit a 3 with time expiring to end it in regulation that put every Jazz fan watching on their feet screaming “YES!”.
It was a great moment for the team and their fans. Even though Mo Williams hit the shot to win it this was a full on team win. The Jazz were down 8 with 4:09 left in this game but finish on a 14-3 run to get the win. In the final 4:09 the Jazz had Hayward, Jefferson, Foye, Millsap and Mo Williams all make shots to make the run possible. Now even though this was a great team win, I want to talk about what a great pick up and upgrade Mo Williams is for this Jazz team.
Mo Williams has wanted the ball in his hands late in games. Before last night against the Spurs Mo was only shooting 4 for 13 (31%) inside of 2 minutes but who have we had since Deron Williams who has wanted to take that shot in the final seconds? Al Jefferson is a great option with the game on the line and according to David Locke is one of the most efficient scorers down the stretch. Even though we have Al, we have not had a perimeter player who has wanted to take those shots and loved those moments. Mo Williams has shown that he wants the ball in his hands with the clock winding down and he wants to be that go to guy that will carry this team to victory in tough situations.
Coming into this season there were lots of questions about Mo Williams ability to be a true point guard. He was seen as more of a combo guard then a point guard because of his ability to score. Mo in the early part of this season is proving that he is a true point guard and he can lead this Jazz team. When we think of the best point guards in the NBA the first few names are going to be Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker. All of these guys are great point guards and all lead their teams in assists. While people probably don’t put Mo in the same category as those 5 players, Mo is leading his team in assists as well and is top 10 in the league in that category with 7 assists a game. Can Mo score? Of course. On any night Mo has the ability to go off for 30+, but Mo understands what his team needs. Mo understands that some nights the Jazz may need him to score and others he needs to get the ball to his teammates.
The Jazz have always had their success when they have had a great point guard leading their team. John Stockton and Deron Williams brought us some of the best seasons we have seen as Jazz fans. I think Mo has the ability to be the guy to bring us some more great seasons that we will remember for a long time. Mo has shown in the early going he can lead this team offensively, he also brings toughness and leadership to a team that desperately needed it. Mo Williams hit a huge shot for the Jazz that knocked off the best team in the NBA, according to Hollinger and Stein’s rankings at ESPN, last night. Mo loves to take those shots, he wants to take those shots, and I think we will see more of these end of the game heroics out of him in the future.