SALT LAKE CITY – Marvin Williams was wearing a huge ice wrap about the size of a watermelon around his right hand as he talked to a group of reporters after Saturday night’s 99-91 win over the Clippers.
Williams was the top scorer for the Jazz with 18 points and by making 3-of-4 shots from 3-point range, he improved his 3-point shooting for the preseason to 64.3 percent at 9-of-14.
As for the "injury,'' he said it he “caught the ball funny” and hurt his pinkie finger on his shooting hand, which made him worry that he might have dislocated the same finger he'd recently hurt.
But not to worry.
“I’ll be fine, ”Williams said, and the fact that he hurt his pinkie in the second quarter and played a lot of minutes and made a few baskets after that, means it shouldn’t be a problem going forward.
The former No. 2 overall draft pick, who came to the Jazz in an offseason trade from Atlanta, has already shown what a strong addition he’ll be to the team this year.
He’s starting at the small forward spot and has shown an ability to score inside as well as make 3-pointers. He also rebounds – he had eight on the night – and also came up with four steals on the defensive end.
“He makes shots, man and when things are right, he can post guys up at different times like he showed tonight,’’ said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. “When we go from strong side to weak side, he’s ready over there and he’s a very willing and capable shooter -- so we look to get him the ball in the right situation.’’
Williams came out hot from the start, making a 3-pointer from the left corner in the first minute of the game and after faking a trey from the same spot a minute later, sank a 17-foot baseline jumper. By halftime he had 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2 of 3 from behind the arc.
“I had an opportunity to knock down some shots today,’’ he said. “I got some good looks and the guys did a great job of kicking it out when I was open and I was able to finish plays. If I can continue to do that and get better, I think I can help the team.’’
However he was pleased with more than just his shooting.
“I thought I played a pretty complete game,’’ he said. “Offensively things were going well for me and defensively I was really happy with the things I did. Obviously, I had a few mistakes that I’ll try to fix.’’
Williams says he’s still learning, but he feels like he’s fitting in well with the Jazz.
“The thing I love about this team is that everybody competes,’’ he said. “Each day we get better and better.’’
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