CLEVELAND – Mo Williams knows winning.
He was a point guard on Cavaliers squads that won 66 and 61 games in back-to-back seasons (2008-09 and ’09-10). He’s now a member of a Trail Blazers team that entered Tuesday’s game at Cleveland with a league-best record of 21-4.
But these Blazers don’t necessarily remind Williams of those Cavs.
“It’s a totally different team,” he said. “But it’s a similar a feeling. We’re winning a lot. We do take the approach like it’s our last game, like it’s a must-win.”
Williams is averaging just more than nine points per game, coming off the bench behind reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard.
Williams is enjoying the role.
“It doesn’t take me long to get comfortable anywhere,” he said. “I’m pretty much a smart, intelligent basketball player. I’m not ignorant in the sense of guys feeling they can do more than they can. You gotta know what the team needs and what they ask of you.”
That type of mentality and team-first attitude is why the Blazers are having early success, according to Williams.
“That’s what separates the really good teams from the bad,” he said. “I knew where I could fit with this team and be good. It’s all about accepting everybody, and here, one through 15 has accepted everyone. That goes for any good team. You might not like (your role); I’m sure guys 13 through 15 want to play. But at the end of the day, they have to accept where they are. Their time will come. And even for six through10 — they may get called on and have to step up.
“But when everybody’s healthy, you have to accept that this is our team, this is who we are, this is what we have to be in order to be successful. Guys here have bought into that.”
Williams was traded by the Cavs to the Clippers in 2010-11 in the deal that eventually netted Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 overall draft pick.
“Worked out OK for them, huh?” Williams once said, smiling.
But today, it appears to be working out OK for Williams, too.