Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson is happy to see that Shelden Williams has found a home in Boston. The Hawks took Williams out of Duke with the fifth pick of the 2006 NBA Draft, then sent him the following season to Sacramento in a deal for veteran point guard Mike Bibby. The Kings traded Williams the next year to Minnesota, but Williams really didn't find his niche until he joined the Celtics this season as a free agent. Williams has added to Boston's depth by averaging a career-high 6.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 16.4 minutes.
"Sometimes it's not going to work out," Woodson said. "That's just the nature of the league. Shelden has moved from us to a couple of spots, and he's finally found a home, and I'm happy for him."
Woodson insisted the Hawks had no problem with Williams. The Hawks drafted Al Horford the following year and played him instead. Then they needed Bibby to play the point.
"So it wasn't a knock against Shelden," Woodson said. "The organization and my staff, and I decided to go in another direction, and Shelden has rebounded from it, and he's landed in I think a wonderful situation for him."
Williams didn't produce enough in Atlanta.
"Maybe the expectations were too high," Hawks star Joe Johnson said. "Who knows? But coming in as a rookie and knowing that we were desperate at that position, it was tough for him to fill that void. Maybe it was too much pressure, who knows? But I'm glad he's in a situation where he can sit back and learn and then develop into a pretty good player."
Williams said the problem wasn't feeling pressure, but not receiving consistent playing time.
"It was kind of hard not knowing what to expect," he said before recording 2 points and 2 rebounds last night.
Williams said he looked forward to playing the Hawks after he first got traded, but not anymore.
Williams, Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels and Eddie House form a talented bench.
"I think they're the deepest team in the league," Woodson said, "and by far probably the best team."
"We like to think we have the best second unit out here," Daniels said. "That's something we take pride in."
Woodson loves what Wallace brings to a team.
"You guys see some of the blow ups," Woodson said, "but from a Basketball standpoint, there's no better power forward in the league, I don't think, because he can post it, he can shoot it. He passes it, he rebounds, blocks shots. There's nothing he can't do."
The best power forward in the league? That's going overboard. Wallace isn't even the best power forward on the Celtics , not with Kevin Garnett still around.
Reunion for Daniels
Daniels plays against his former Indiana teammates for the first time when the Celtics visit the Pacers at 7 tonight.
Daniels took a pay cut to sign with the Celtics as a free agent after playing the past three seasons for Indiana.
"It will be good to see some of my old friends," Daniels said, "but other than that, it's just another game."
Daniels has sacrificed his scoring to concentrate on his defense with the Celtics .
"Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward," he said. "We have so many great players out here that it's a no-brainer that you have to give up some things."
The numbers game
The Celtics don't have to worry about accepting LeBron James' challenge to stop wearing No. 23 in honor of Michael Jordan. The Celtics long ago retired No. 23 in honor of Hall of Famer Frank Ramsey, who played for them in the 1950s and 1960s.
James announced this week that he plans to no longer wear No. 23, Jordan's old number, after this season and that he hoped everyone else would stop as well.
The puzzling thing is that James said he'd give up No. 23 to wear No. 6 next season. Doesn't he realize that Bill Russell, winner of a record 11 NBA championships, wore No. 6?
"That number should be retired," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
Play Basketball Hot Streak and win prizes!