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Breakout Player: Lou Williams

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Lou Williams is quietly having his breakout season at 23 years old. Unfortunately it's going unnoticed because the Sixers are terrible, Lou Williams is old news, everyone's goo-goo for Jrue-Jrue, and Eddie Jordan has caused more controversy than the Snooki-punch. 

No, Lou Williams isn't the greatest defender, and he's not a true point guard. He's a combo-guard who can score in bunches and occasionally take over a game. 

To put his breakout season in perspective I ran a player comparison (my new favorite thing to do) on Basketball Reference comparing Lou to players with similar styles -- all of whom are widely considered good players. I chose one veteran (Barbosa), one rookie (Curry) and one young veteran (Brooks) to get a variety.

Tale of the tape:

Aaron Brooks, 6', 165 lbs, 25 years old

Leandro Barbosa, 6'3'', 176 lbs, 24 years old

(Barbosa is 27, but I used his 2006-2007 season to compare because it was by far his best year, and he was around the same age of the other guys.)

Stephen Curry, 6'3'', 185 lbs, 21 years old

Louis Williams, 6'2'', 175 lbs, 23 years old

Breakdown: 

YR AGE PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS
Barbosa 09-10 24 18.4 .595 .562 1.0 8.1 4.8 18.7 1.8 0.4 10.7 23.4 115 108 6.1 2.1 8.2
Brooks 06-07 25 15.8 .544 .502 2.0 6.3 4.1 24.4 1.3 0.3 13.9 25.6 107 110 2.5 1.2 3.8
Curry  09-10 21 14.4 .559 .525 1.4 11.8 6.5 22.2 2.6 0.5 17.5 19.8 104 110 1.3 1.3 2.6
Williams 09-10 23 18.6 .570 .515 1.5 9.7 5.5 21.8 2.4 0.7 11.2 21.3 116 109 2.8 0.9 3.7

Note: Win Shares are very debatable because they depend on how many games you play and how good your team is.

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Lou's rank (out of 4) in all the categories:

PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS
LOU 1 2 3 2 2 2 3 2 1 2  -- 1 2 2 4 3

 

Composite Rankings

  1. Barbosa - 31
  2. Williams - 32
  3. Curry - 40
  4. Brooks - 46
Only Barbosa's 06-07 season has been better than Lou's in terms of total advanced statistics. Now, this ranking is slightly flawed because Lou was better in less meaningful categories for players his size like BLK%, so let's narrow it down to three categories -- PER, ORtg, DRtg.

Lou had the best PER, best ORtg, and second best DRtg.

Not only does Lou Williams hold his own against players with similar styles, he excels. Barbosa was very important player on the Seven Seconds or Less Suns. Curry is currently in the thick of a rookie of the year race, and dubbed by some, a future star. Aaron Brooks received some All-Star buzz this season. Lou Williams? He's being bashed left and right by his fans, getting in Twitter-fights and ultimately being extremely under-appreciated.

To top it all off, Lou's only 23 years old -- 2 years older than Steph Curry and 2 years younger than Aaron Brooks.

If you don't appreciate Lou Williams for who he is, do yourself a favor and start, because any way you break it down, Lou Williams is breaking out.