James Webb III, the Nets new two-way deal, had his best game vs. Houston on Tuesday. In 18 minutes, he scored six points on 2-of-4 shooting, both 3-pointers, and grabbed six rebounds. He followed that up Wednesday with another 15 minutes of action in Detroit, hitting one of two 3-pointers.
After a slow start, the 6’9” He says 6’10”) stretch 4 is starting to get acclimated. In the last four games, he’s gone 4-of-8 from deep and grabbed nearly 4.5 boards in 15.3 minutes per game. And, his coach notes, he plays good D. Small sample, of course, but like his time with Long Island, he started slowly, then started hitting his shots.
With Rondae Hollis-Jefferson out, and the Nets looking to develop a homegrown stretch 4, the G-League product is gaining confidence.
He even has his first highlight video...
So far, Kenny Atkinson likes what he sees.
“He plays hard, he’s a great guy,” Atkinson told Alex Labidou of the Nets official site after Monday’s practice ... and before his last two games. “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.”
Under the new two-way provision of the CBA, he can work out and/or play with the parent club for a limited number of days. At that point, the Nets have to either sign him to a full NBA contract or return him to Long Island for the rest of the season. Although he’s playing well now, it’s unlikely they’ll have to make that decision. Once RHJ returns to health, he’s back to Long Island.
Webb is not a complete neophyte. He was in 76ers training camp the last two seasons so he has an understanding of how the NBA works. He knows what he needs to do.
“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.“
Indeed, against the Bucks on Sunday, three of his five boards were on the offensive end, helping the Nets make a late run.
Long term, the Nets are going to have to get him into the weight room. Last public number on his weight was 206 pounds. He may be a little bigger than than now, but he’s got a ways to go. Webb is typical of what the Nets are hoping to do with their two-way deals, develop a player to find their needs, being patient and not expecting a finished product.
“Nah,” Webb III said with a laugh when Alex Labidou, the Nets in-house beat writer, asked if he celebrated his NBA debut. “It wasn’t anything special. It’s what I get paid to do.”
- BROOKLYN NETS’ JAMES WEBB III EARNING MINUTES DUE TO HUSTLE AND DRIVE - Alex Labidou - Brooklyn Nets