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Alan Williams goes for 28 and 21 in Long Island win. Is he headed for NBA return?

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Long Island Nes

You can’t call Alan Williams 28-point, 21-rebound game in the Long Island Nets win over Wisconsin Herd Saturday night typical. Games like that are rare — it was Williams second — but the 6’8”, 261-pound big the Nets signed to a two-way deal late last summer is dominating the G League. He’s put up nearly 20 points and 14 rebounds a game this season.

Williams, 25, has not played a single game for the Brooklyn Nets yet this season but has been making the most of his opportunity with the G-League affiliate. He has been a major contributor to their 12-6 record, as has the Nets other two-way player, Theo Pinson who finished with a triple double Wednesday: 27 points, 13 assists and 10 boards, his and Long Island’s first ever.

Williams also dominated in the G League’s Winter Showcase in Las Vegas last week and was named to the All-Winter Showcase second team by the NBA (first team by Ridiculous Upside).

Williams, who is nicknamed Big Sauce, recorded 24 points and 14 rebounds against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and then had another strong outing against the Oklahoma City Blue, scoring 19 points and grabbing 18 rebounds.

Prior to the Winter Showcase, Keith Schlosser of GLeague.NBA.com, noted Williams as one of the 10 players who could have an NBA opportunity coming their way, writing...

His ability to clean up the glass has paid dividends for Long Island, who boast a very respectable 11-5 record thus far. Much like Reed, what you see is what you get. He’s going to position himself inside, keep possessions alive, and capitalize on second chance opportunities.

In the 15 games with the Long Island Nets before Friday’s win, Williams was averaging 26.0 minutes, 19.5 points, 14.2 rebounds, tops in the league, and 1.9 assists. On top of those strong averages, Williams is shooting shooting 50.7 percent from the field and is 75.6 percent from the free throw line. Williams is not a stretch anything. but he’s tried, going 1-for-6 from behind the arc.

Is that enough? Does he fit?

Big Sauce is no stranger to the NBA. He played three seasons with the Phoenix Suns and played in 62 NBA games over that span, averaging 6.4 points and 5.7 rebounds before he got hurt last season.

In his Long Island Nets debut back in October, Will Weaver, his head coach, had high praise for the big man particularly for his defense.

“I thought his impact was huge, even more so how he quarterbacked our defense,” said Weaver, “I thought his talk was elite. You see why he’s an NBA player. He’s communicating and helping the team even more than the stats suggest.”

With all being said, can Williams be expecting some playing time in Brooklyn ... in the near future? According to Nets PR, Williams was active when the Nets played the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday but did not play. Pinson was active as well but did not play.

The play of Williams is nearly identical to Nets big man Ed Davis. Both big men do not shoot the ball often and instead use their size and strength down low. Like Davis, Williams impact is felt most when it comes to rebounding on both ends of the floor.

With Allen and Davis posting good rebounding averages per game, will Williams have an opportunity to give Brooklyn another body down low to gather rebounds?

Williams is a traditional big man and works best under the rim and in the paint. The Nets can use him as a drop off pass player under the basket. Williams has proven he is very efficient scoring the ball under the basket. Like Davis, Williams is great when it comes to second chance opportunities on the offensive end. He positions himself leading to second chance possessions or capitalizes on second chance scoring opportunities using his elite rebounding skills.

Williams is a solid defender who uses his strength to restrict space from the opposing player and is a shot blocker. If not rebounding, defense could be Williams’ biggest area of impact would be felt.

There’s also an intangible that could appeal to the Nets. When Williams signed with the Nets, Jared Dudley, who played with Williams in Phoenix, praised his talent and his team-oriented attitude.

“He’s the best teammate when it comes to supporting teammates. It’s genuine. You see him in practice pushing guys, rebounding. His practices are literally like his games, and that’s not for most {guys}. He always has a chip on his shoulder trying to prove himself,” said Dudley.

“If Alan didn’t hurt his knee last year, he’d still be in Phoenix, and be playing there. Brooklyn got a bargain.”

Some thought Williams might wind up on the big team if the Nets made trades or dropped a player, maybe Kenneth Faried, but at least in the short-term that seems unlikely. So in the meantime, Williams will wait and dominate.

In addition to Williams 20-20 and Pinson’s triple-double, the other dominant performance in Oshkosh Friday night came from Mitch Creek who had 24 points and five rebounds. Jordan McLaughlin, the Nets point guard, didn’t accompany the team to Wisconsin.