Thrust into a starting role, Deron Williams gave Team USA the shot in the arm they needed after a close win over Brazil, as the Americans thumped Great Britain 118-78.
As the U.S. team looks to capture another gold medal during the 2012 Summer Olympics, Williams is showing why he should become the full-time starter at point guard.
With 19 points and five assists, he was the catalyst of the U.S. offense during the exhibition game. He came up big as a starter after missing camp because he has not yet signed with the Brooklyn Nets. Now that he's back, he's looking to win his second Olympic gold.
In 2008, he averaged just six point per game during the team's Olympic run. He struggled to make a big impact, although the team still won gold.
It was a different story on Thursday, however, as he put in a dominant performance during his first start with Team USA. Coach Mike Krzyzewski should make Williams the full-time starter. Even with Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook also on the roster, Williams is the best option at point guard.
Williams is a compromise between the pass-heavy Paul and scoring-oriented Westbrook. He is just as fast and keeps the tempo moving like Paul and Westbrook, and his game doesn't suffer at all in either the half-court set or in transition.
After a great season with the Nets, averaging 21.0 points and 8.7 assists per game, Williams looks like one of the best point guards in the league.
After scoring 19 points and racking up five assists against Great Britain in under 20 minutes, he looks like one of the best point guards in the world.
After leading Team USA to such an impressive victory, Williams' stock is rising. If he can string together a few more games like the one he had today he could earn himself a full-time starting spot over Paul, who was the starter before Williams took over today.
The lineup change of putting in Williams for Paul has apparently worked, as Williams had an incredible day offensively. He simply couldn't miss, shooting 7-of-8 from the floor, including 5-of-6 from behind the arc.
It's time to give Williams the chance to make the biggest impact possible, and let him be the starter who leads the Americans to a gold medal during the Games.