As the Knicks have continued to develop more of a positive rhythm, Carmelo Anthony has gotten offensive help from his supporting cast, most notably Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez. But Derrick Williams is beginning to emerge as well.
The three players above were part of the Knicks' mini spending spree this summer, with Williams signing a two year deal worth $10 million.
A former No. 2 overall pick back in 2011, Williams has underwhelmed throughout his career in comparison to his other high selection counterparts. Nevertheless, his signing is paying very early dividends for the Knicks.
The likes of Kevin Seraphin and Kyle O'Quinn have struggled to find consistent minutes as of late, but perhaps it's becoming clearer why Williams cost the Knicks more than the aforementioned two. He's been a very dynamic scorer off the bench for this team. Langston Galloway is seemingly more focused on playmaking and applying defensive pressure off the bench. Lance Thomas is shooting well, but still enjoys doing the dirty work. Williams undeniably likes the ball in his hands.
Slowly but surely, Williams is becoming the Knicks' most reliable scoring option off the pine. As players look to get each other involved, sometimes selflessness can turn out to be somewhat of a fault. Williams seems to understand the balance. He pushes the pace, draws defenders in, and passes out when he has to. But when the lane is open, Williams doesn't hesitate one bit.
This was once again demonstrated by his 13 point, eight rebound effort in just 18 minutes against Miami on Wednesday. He seems to be a very valuable player on this roster, though defense isn't exactly his forte, which is probably why he doesn't play too many minutes.
But the Knicks have other players to help create a more balanced attack. Frankly, Williams is always a player the team seems to turn to when in need of some scoring. He's a game-changer, and a lot can be said for his thunderous dunks. At home, they ignite the crowd. On the road, they quiet them down. He's also one of the team's best players at drawing fouls.
The 24-year-old-enjoys spelling Anthony and knows that he has the green light to be aggressive when the star forward sits down.
Given his reputation, it would have been difficult to predict the type of impact Williams was going to have in New York. But he's been a key part of their success.