After public deliberations by bench guard Lou Williams over whether he would join the Clippers in the NBA bubble in Orlando, head coach Doc Rivers threw water on the concern over his availability in a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
“I do expect Lou to be with us,” Rivers told the media. “I would be very surprised if he’s not.”
In a conference call, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said "all indications" that Lou Williams will play. Rivers said, "I do expect Lou to be with us. I would be very surprised if he's not."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 1, 2020
Doc on conference call with reporters: "All indications is that yes, he is (going to play). I do expect Lou to be with us."
— Mirjam Swanson (@MirjamSwanson) July 1, 2020
Williams has given several interviews recently where he said he had not decided about whether to participate, but always remained steadfast that it would come down to what the rest of the Clippers did.
“If the majority of the guys say, ‘This is what we gonna do, this is what we gonna stand on’, then I’m all aboard,” Williams told rapper Fat Joe on an Instagram Live chat last week. “Whatever my decision will be, it’ll be collective.”
Of course, the Clippers’ fortunes center largely around Williams’ decision. With him, they have a player capable of getting his own shot off the bench and occasionally closing games. In their pick-and-roll and isolation-heavy offense, Williams is a perfect fit. Without him, they lose a bunch of scoring around which their team is built.
If Rivers is right, and the collective team will to play encouraged Williams to participate, then the Clippers stack up as one of a handful of teams capable of winning the NBA championship this fall in Orlando.