CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Derrick Williams kept things simple when preparing for his first appearance in the NBA Finals.
Rather than wearing himself out with thoughts of trying to do more, and instead, ending up doing too much, Williams focused on making whatever adjustments he could make as the Cavaliers prepared to face the Golden State Warriors in The Finals for the third straight season.
“Same thing, just try and stay ready,” Williams said. “Be ready for anything. I think that two teams, man -- the two best teams in the league coming out together, starting the series. I think we're all ready. I think we're all ready, man.
“This is what fans want to see, this is what all the guys on the team all want to see, this is what we all want to see, our families. So I don't think there's anything going to change. Stay ready, keep working hard, and be ready.”
Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Cavaliers on February 9, and showed enough to warrant another short-term deal with the team. In his first five games with the Cavaliers, the 6-foot-8, 240-pound Williams averaged 9.8 points and 2.6 rebounds over 23.6 minutes of play.
Williams was later extended to a full-season contract, and in 25 regular-season games with the Cavaliers, he averaged 6.2 points and 2.3 rebounds over 17.1 minutes per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from three-point range.
Although Williams’ minutes have been cut in the postseason as the Cavaliers shortened up their rotation, he has embraced the opportunity to play on the game’s greatest stage.
“Obviously, it is my first playoff experience, but, man, it's been a long time coming,” Williams said. “First five years, they weren't looking good for the playoffs. Even this season with Miami at first, and, boom, we're in The Finals now.
“I think that's the best thing. Everything happens for a reason. It's good karma, bad karma. This is the good side of it. I think that we're ready to play and ready to make a name for ourselves.”
While his minutes have been inconsistent in the postseason, Williams knows that at any point, his number could be called to play critical minutes for a Cavaliers team anxious to begin their climb back into the series after losing their first three games to the Warriors.
“Got to be ready,” Williams said. “There's no time for thinking if I am ready or not being ready. This is the time, this is the place. This is where you make your name. This is where you make a name yourself, for your team, for your family.”
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