Since joining the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague two seasons ago, Derrick Williams has been an instant difference-maker as a versatile power forward whose great range of skills once made him the second overall pick of the NBA draft. At age 28, he is now dominating around the rims among the European elite, first for FC Bayern Munich and then with Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul.
Williams is a big contributor across several statistical categories, which is one of the things that made EuroLeague fans take immediate notice of him. The other thing that fans gotten used to is watching Williams fly high in the air to catch alley-oop passes and slam them through the rims.
Williams's shooting range makes him a threat in pick-and-pop situations, which keeps the defense honest and opens up more space inside. Williams knows how to use that space, too. He attacks with a lot of energy and simply knows how to get to, and above, the rim in many different ways from many different angles. What sets Williams apart from most other EuroLeague players is that he uses his physicality and strength to get through contact, whether on the floor or in the air, which allows him to finish his plays – often in spectacular fashion.
The Fenerbahce forward does not need to be involved in a pick-and-roll to find himself catching the ball around the rim for all those alley-oop slams. In fact, more often than not, he appears from a back-door or weak-side cut, finding space along the baseline behind the defense. That's is why alley-oop plays involving Williams often feature long passes. The other reason those plays are overwhelming the weekly highlights is the athleticism, strength and coordination that allows Williams to finish those alley-oop dunks with one hand, even when the passes are thrown behind him.
Due to such abilities, and to the energy and attitude that he plays with, Williams's dunks can be momentum-changers, making his contributions far greater than his career averages of 12.4 points and 4.0 rebounds. Whenever Williams is on the floor, both teams and all fans are on the lookout for the kind of plays that, by their spectacular nature, are worth more than just two points.