Right off the bat, about 50% of BlazersEdge read the title and is ready to physically fight me. For whatever reason, there are strong emotions regarding Mo Williams. I speak to some possible reasons for this in my Q1 Statistical Review of the bench.
I'll get straight to it: Mo Williams, relative to other players filling similar roles on good teams, is a bad player. I highlighted that because if my Facebook comments section is any indication, I'll be having to reference my thesis quite often in the comments below. I appreciate what he brings to the team, and he's our best option right now as a 3rd guard off the bench, but that doesn't change the fact that he's having an awful season statistically.
Here's a look at other bench players who are getting >19 minutes per game on teams that were >.500 through 20 games (I also included the Lakers, who were right at .500). I'm not concerned about the benches of teams that aren't good. A couple of these players have started some games due to injury, but by my estimation, they're all locked in as bench guys for the foreseeable future.
*After realizing how difficult it is to view this table given sbnation's picture settings, here's a link to a URL that displays it much more clearly: http://www.flickr.com/photos/111216886@N06/11319561444/
I showed this to somebody and they complained about the presence of forwards on the list. Fine, remove those and you're left with 14 guards. Nothing changes. Per the above chart, Williams is:
19th in TS% (Last)
18th in eFG% (2nd to Last)
19th in TOV% (Last)
19th in PER (Last)
19th in Offensive Rating (Last)
18th in Defensive Rating (2nd to Last)
19th in Win Shares (Last)
So, that's not good. Again, what this tells us is that compared to other bench players getting at least 19 minutes per game on good teams (>.500 through 20 games), Mo Williams is terrible. As in, he's worse than every single other player in the NBA who fits that criteria, regardless of position.
So what's the point of this post? To depress you? No. It's just to point out that Mo Williams is not some bench saviour like some are alluding to. Does he do some good things? Yes, but the bad outweighs it.
Whenever someone tries to tell me that Mo Williams is a good player and the perfect 6th man, I give them these stats and they proceed to completely ignore them, instead, relying on their trusty eye test. In practice, this is basically the same as a monkey throwing its poop. Could there possibly be a better way to evaluate the players on your favorite team than by relying on your own personal (expert) observations? Nonsense!
I'll take objective fact (statistics) over subjective, non-expert observation (especially when said observation is coming from a die-hard fan of the team said player is on) every single time.
What's the bright side? The bright side is that replacing Mo with a competent 3rd guard off the bench will make a significant difference. The most likely candidate is CJ McCollum. I fully expect him to eat into Mo's minutes once he's healthy. There's no way he can be worse. If he doesn't turn out to be what Blazer management had hoped, a trade or FA pickup should do the trick. One way or another, I can't imagine Mo Williams getting more than spot minutes after this season.